Locals pen, paint children's book

Photo Credit: TROY WAYRYNEN, THE ESTACADA NEWS - Geraldine P. Morse is known for making doughnuts for children touring historic Philip Foster Farm.Oink learns the hard way that pigs have good reason for preferring mud to soap in Geraldine P. Morse’s fable, “The Pig That Asked Too Many Questions.”

The curious pig, charmingly illustrated by Honey Fleck, skips about the grounds of the historical Philip Foster Farm, learning all about the virtues and terrors of cleanliness in the freshly reprinted second-edition of the children’s story.

Sitting in the 1883 farmhouse, the two women modestly say they are “novices” when it comes to children’s books.

Morse was first drawn to the Philip Foster Farm through her daughter, Elaine Butler, who is the farm manager and education director at the historic Eagle Creek site.

Photo Credit: TROY WAYRYNEN, THE ESTACADA NEWS - Illustrator Honey Fleck, left, and author Geraldine P. Morse sit in the kitchen at the Philip Foster Farm Monday, October 6, in Eagle Creek. The women created the children's story book about a pig who doesnt like to get dirty called 'The Pig that Asked Too Many Questions.' Philip Foster Farm’s grounds have been kept up by the Jacknife-Zion-Horseheaven Historical Society (JZH) in an effort to preserve some of what life was like for one of Oregon’s first pioneers.

Morse habitually leads the farm’s historic Rose Ramble and her husband, Sam Morse, gives blacksmithing demonstrations.

Photo Credit: TROY WAYRYNEN, THE ESTACADA NEWS - In a morbid twist, Oink learns that pioneers made soap with lye and pig fat. The site hosts frequent school tours with guides in period garb, puts on events throughout the year and is open between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays during May, June, September and October and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday June 21-Aug. 30.

Morse is renowned for making old fashioned doughnuts for touring children and found herself explaining the use of lard so often she was inspired to write a story about it.

“I’ve always liked to tell stories,” she said.

When Butler came across Fleck’s work at an Estacada Winter Artisan show a few years ago, she thought the artist’s style was perfect to bring the story to life.

“The Pig That Asked Too Many Questions” was the first venture into children’s books for both Morse and Fleck.

Philip Foster Farm visitors may recognize the old-fashioned laundry station and kitchen from the site as settings in the book.

While Morse admits the discussion of pig fat has made some squeamish in the past, current health trends have made parents respond quite favorably to lard recently.

Butler hinted two more children’s books set at Philip Foster Farm are in the works.

The “Pic That Asked Too Many Questions” may be purchased at or at the farm (where a pig shaped bar of soap will be included in the purchase).

Book proceeds support the heritage preservation and education programs offered at the farm.

For more information on Philip Foster Farm visit

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