TITLE: The McNifficents
GENRE: Middle Grade
In a large pink farmhouse at 238 Emery Road, lived a most unusual nanny: Lord Tennyson, a middle-aged mini schnauzer with white whiskers and a royal pedigree. This morning our fine gentleman was herding the six McNiff children from the pink house into the old red farm truck for the first swim of summer vacation.
The task was never easy. The children clambered into the truck with towels and sand buckets, jostling and elbowing for their favorite seat and fighting over who got to hold Lord Tennyson.
"Sit with me!" Naughty Mary yelled, grabbing him out of Ezra's lap.
"Hey!" Ezra said, pulling him back.
While he understood his appeal, he did not appreciate small hands digging into his side and inevitably pulling at his fur.
"It's my turn!" Mary shrieked, elbowing Ezra in the shoulder.
Mrs. McNiff, whom Lord Tennyson called Honey (because that’s what Mr. McNiff called her), looked in the rearview mirror. This was Lord Tennyson’s cue to wriggle loose, shake out his fur, and sternly look each McNiff child in the eye.
Mary gave Ezra one of her black-eyed looks, but fell silent. Honey smiled as they rumbled down the dusty country road, while Lord Tennyson's heart swelled. He loved Honey and would do anything for her affection.
No, his job was not an easy one as worthwhile work never is, but he did not doubt his child-rearing abilities, for he knew he was a rather spectacular dog.