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Drover's Secret Life facts for kids

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Drover's Secret Life is the fifty-third book in the Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson, unique as the only book in the series not written in Hank's voice. It is also the only book in the series to have a biographical focus, rather than a narrative of a specific caper.


In the Introduction, Hank recalls how one day he found Drover's autobiography written in the dirt on the machine shed floor where he has a habit of hiding, then Drover's voice takes over, alternating between the present day and the recollection of his life. In the present day, Drover is nervous about writing his autobiography, and puts off writing it. He picks it back up with the story of his birth, and begins to relate how he was the youngest, and the runt, of a litter of nine puppies. The other puppies left home as soon as they reached adulthood; Dover stayed home with his mother, using the excuse that his leg was injured. Drover's mother saw through his excuses, however, and used trickery to get him to leave. Her triumph was short-lived; he came back that night. There followed a battle of wills, with Drover's mother trying every tactic to get him to leave and him trying everything to get to stay. Finally, she gave up and moved to the front porch, leaving the backyard for Drover. Drover celebrated his victory by doing what he'd always dreamed of: nothing. He spent all his time lounging in the yard, pampering his so-called 'bad leg', until one day he saw what he assumed to be a bird fall into the goldfish pond. His fear that it would drown overcame his laziness, and he pulled it from the water, only to discover that it was in fact a bat. Drover ran and hid from the bat, but it followed him and introduced itself as Boris O'Bat, his faithful servant. Boris explained to Drover that bats have a high code of honor and must serve anyone who rescues them, until the rescuer is paid back. Despite Boris' eagerness to please Drover, Drover initially claimed he didn't need help with anything. When Boris pressed him, he finally admitted that he'd always had a dream of becoming a handsome prince. Boris promised to take Drover to a 'Handsome Prince School', but the directions led Drover to a fast food restaurant. Drover decided that Boris was lying to him, and, leaving Boris behind, he went to a carnival. There, he met a Doberman Pinscher named Slick, who promised to teach Drover to be a handsome prince. Drover agreed, despite the sign on the front of the carnival tent advertising a dog-eating anaconda. Boris showed up during the middle of the 'handsome prince lesson' and told Drover that Slick was setting him up to be snake food. After a look at the anaconda, Drover believed Boris, and they ran all the way to the town park. The next day, a group of people held a picnic in the park, and Boris tried to get Drover to work the crowd and find a new home, which Drover refused, until a woman named Sally May lost her necklace right at his feet. Drover picked up the necklace and took it to her. Seeing that Drover didn't have a collar, Sally May and her husband Loper adopted him and took him back to their ranch. The book ends in the present day, with Drover saying that he's happy; he has a good life on the ranch as Hank's assistant, and when life gets too noisy he just goes to the machine shed.


  • Drover sings "I Have No Ambition" when his mother wants him to leave home.
  • Boris O'Bat sings "You Need a Dream" to inspire Drover to get a job.
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