S: Hard-Workin' Ray By: Tappia Freed Infanger
BC: "All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today." --Pope Paul VI
FC: Hard-Workin' Ray | Written by Tappia Freed Infanger Illustrated by Lana Infanger Prier | My Heritage Collection
1: My Heritage Collection presents Volume 2... | Hard-Workin' Ray | Written by Tappia Freed Infanger Illustrated by Lana Infanger Prier
3: This book is dedicated to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Ray Infanger. May you always value the principle of hard work.
5: “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” a young Ray Infanger asked his father. Chuckling, his father said, “I don't know. Why don't you find out? Old Mr. Thompson has a Banty hen he wants to sell. If you worked hard to earn some money, I'll bet he'd sell her to you.”
6: Ray's bright blue eyes opened wide with excitement. His very own hen! That afternoon, he went right to work doing odd jobs around the house and in his neighborhood. Ray built a little chicken coop with scraps of lumber, old wire, and some nails he'd been saving just for this sort of occasion. He worked very hard and before long, Ray had earned enough money to buy the hen.
7: The Banty hen loved her new chicken coop almost as much as Ray had loved building it. Within a few days, she had laid a nest full of eggs. Ray carefully examined each egg. They were perfect! Now all he had to do was wait for them to hatch.
8: And wait he did! Everyday after school Ray would race home to check on his eggs. Every day, the eggs looked just the same.
9: One afternoon he sat next to the chicken coop until it was nearly dinner time. Ray was discouraged. He was about to go in the house, when he heard it. A tiny, cracking noise! It was coming from the nest!
10: Mesmerized, Ray watched quietly as the little chick pecked and pecked at the small hole in the top of egg. After what seemed like an hour, the chick had still not hatched. “What a lot of work it is to break out of an egg!” thought Ray. By this time it was nearly dark, and his mother was calling him.
11: The next morning Ray could hardly wait to rush outside and check on his baby chick. He ran to the chicken coop and there it was; a small, yellow ball of fluff skittering around! With a squeal of delight, Ray gently picked up the baby chick. It seemed so small in his big hands!
12: Reluctantly he set the chick down and hurried to school. By that afternoon, a half dozen more eggs had begun to hatch. Ray was eager to hold them and wanted to spare them the effort it took to be born. So he carefully pulled the shells off and helped each chick out into the world. Again, however, it got too dark to see and he had to go inside.
14: Early the next morning, Ray rushed outside expecting to see several fluffy chicks running around the coop. To his surprise, he only saw one. Hmmm.... where could they be?
15: He searched the chicken coop and listened hard for their little cheeps. Nothing. As he rounded the last corner, he saw them. Ray immediately knew that they were dead. Ray frowned in silence. What had happened? They were perfectly fine last night. Why did they die?
16: Like he always did when he was upset, he ran inside to find his mother. Ray found her in the middle of making his favorite candy—divinity. He solemnly explained that the baby chicks had died. His mother hugged him, “Oh son, I'm so sorry that happened! You see, it's good for the baby chicks to hatch all by themselves. It's a long process and very hard work for them. But it makes them strong—strong enough to live outside.”
18: Ray shoved his hands in the pockets of his overalls—the only pair he had for the year—and walked slowly back toward the chicken coop. He looked at his one and only baby chick and thought about what his mother had told him. It really must be true. It had taken all night for this little chick to hatch; and here he was healthy and strong. It was a lesson that Ray knew he would never forget.
20: That night he stared up at his ceiling trying to sleep. All day it seemed those chicks weren't far from his thoughts. He caught a glimpse of the shiny typewriter sitting on his desk. Oh how he loved it! It was his most prized possession. He thought of the hours his mother had spent cleaning houses and scrubbing floors to earn enough money to buy it for him. All that work was part of the reason it meant so much to him.
21: It was as if a light bulb switched on in his head. “That's it!” he said aloud. Hard work is what made the baby chick tough enough to live outside its shell. Hard work is what it took for his mother to pay for his beloved typewriter. Hard work was the key! It makes you strong. It makes you smart. It makes you grateful for the blessings in your life. Then and there, Ray promised himself he would work as hard as he could every day for the rest of his life. And he did.
22: Ray Edward Infanger grew up to be successful at whatever he tried. He started a company called Ray's Heating that is still thriving today. He worked hard raising mink, dairy cows, and various farm animals. Ray also established several trailer parks. In his later years, Ray was elected to the Idaho State Legislature. His experiences as a boy, including raising his baby chicks, shaped his conservative values. Ray was an advocate for small government and personal responsibility. He believed in America and the American dream. He lived that dream by starting with nothing and building a wonderful life with his wife Vera and their seven children.
24: About the Author: Tappia Infanger has always loved family stories. She grew up hearing stories about her family on long car rides. Some were very old stories about people she had never met; others were about her parents, aunts and uncles from when they were young. Tappia loved hearing them all. Now she is married with children of her own. They seem to always want her to tell them a story! So she had the idea to turn the stories she'd heard many, many times into children's books. This book, “Hard-Workin' Ray” is the second volume of many in the My Heritage Collection. The story is about the grandfather and namesake of Tappia's husband Ray. “Granddad,” as he was called, taught his family about character through sharing stories from his own life. Tappia’s hope is that her children, along with many others, will learn and come to appreciate their ancestors through reading stories from their lives; for they were indeed ordinary people who did extraordinary things. Other books in the My Heritage Collection: Big-Hearted Bobby