“Lassie Come Home”, written by Eric Knight, is a heartwarming story about the loyalty of a dog to his family. Since publishing it has remained one of the favorite books for children. The book was written in 1940 and has been translated into numerous different languages and editions, thanks to the immense popularity of this moving story about the loyal pet.
The movie filmed based on this book tells us a story about friendship, loyalty and the great love between dog and human. A boy named Joe lives in a low-income family and a collie named Lassie was his best friend. They were spending days playing together, but their happiness was harshly interrupted when Lassie was sold to another family.
Separation of Lassie and Joe was something they couldn’t reconcile with so soon a fight begins for them to reunite again. The winning factor in that struggle was loyalty, bravery, persistence, fidelity and an enormous amount of love.
The book author, Eric Knight, spent his childhood in Yorkshire, where the story is based as well as a beginning and the end of the plot. The author was pointing out that the rough climate of that region in England was the main factor in making the people there more resilient and eager to fight. The dogs of that area have similar qualities, always remaining faithful to their owner and ready for helping him.
Theme: Lassie’s homesickness and her loyalty to her masters, the Carraclough family and her journey from northern Scotland back home to Greenall Bridger. She was navigated by the love she felt for Joe and that same love was her source of strength during the long and difficult trip.
Place: Northern England, Yorkshire county, Greenall Bridge, Scotland
Time: a couple of months from midsummer until winter
In the Yorkshire county, England, in a small place called Greenall Bridge lived the family of Sam Carraclough. Joe was a miner, and he was living together with his wife and son Joe. Joe spent all of his spare time playing with his dog, a collie named Lassie. They become inseparable, and Lassie was waiting for Joe in front of the school every day so she could walk him home. Their friendship wasstrong and unbreakable.
Joe’s family was living modestly and poor, so his father was forced to sell Lassie for 15 pounds to the old and wealthy count of Rudling. The count got Lassie as a present to his granddaughter Priscilla, ordering his servant Hynes to take good care about the Lassie by providing her with all the necessities.
Lassie couldn’t adapt to her new family, so she started refusing food and remained sad, wishing to return to her old home. She used the first opportunity for running away, so she waited for Joe in front of the school. Overjoyed at seeing her, Joe brought her home with him where his parents warned him not to repeat that ever again, and then called for the servant Hynes to return the dog at the
Priscilla knew Lassie wasn’t happy because she kept on running away, so the servant Hynes decided to take some additional measures of precaution for keeping Lassie in the house. He divided her by building a fence, but Lassie jumped over the obstacle and ran away again, returning to Joe. Joe decides to run away from home with Lassie, so they went to the swamp nearby, but his father soon found them and lectured Joe about his behavior. Joe had to return to his home, behaviourand Lassie was sent back to the Rutland’s estate.
One day father told Joe about count’s decision of taking Lassie to the dog show in northern Scotland. Lassie was really sad, unable to adapt to the cold Scottish weather and tied with a rope beside the servant Hynes for the whole time.
Priscilla and her grandfather, the Count of Rutland, got very mad when they heard about Hynes behavior towards Lassie, so they ordered him to take Lassie in the walk outdoors every day. Lassie used the opportunity for running away one day, decisive on going back home.
On her way home, she got into a lot of troubles. She saved herself from a great thunderstorm by hiding in a cave, and after four days of her journey, she got exhausted by hunger. Lassie decided to search for some food and soon she saw a weasel carrying dead rabbit. She stole the rabbit and continued her journey to the South.
Soon she got to the lake, walking around it for a week long, and then she had to swim over a deep cold river. She got cold with fever, and also injured by getting a painful splinter in one of her paws.She was lying ill for nine days after which she was able again for continuing her journey.
In one of the villages on her way she got into a trap settled for stray dogs, became wounded by one of the villagers and attacked by other dogs. Because she showed great courage, villagers decided to spare her life.Lassie kept on going until she got caught again by fleecers while she was crossing the bridge.
She managed to escape again, finding her way to the river, a natural border dividing England and Scotland. She crossed the river successfully but ended her trip exhausted and weak. An older married couple, Dan’l and Dally Fadden found her and took her in their home, offering her warm shelter and food. They decided to adopt her, but although Lassie felt grateful, she felt returning to Joe as her duty. Madam Dally knew she has to let her go.
So Lassie was on the road again, where she met Rowley Palmer, a potter who was driving a cart. He was selling pottery and organising circus plays during his entire journey through England, so Lassie joined him. Soon Lassie realised she isn’t fitting in the circus, so she decided to go, leaving her position to Tootsie the poodle. Soon Rowley needed help fighting the bums who attacked him, so Lassie saved him.
Winter finally came, and everything was covered in snow, including exhausted Lassie as well. Lassie got the severe case of pneumonia but somehow manages to arrive in front of Joe’s school.Joe finds her in the difficult condition and decides to bring her home with a help from one of the miners. Lassie finally returned home after crossing a journey of four thousand miles, and soon recovered her health.
The entire family was happy for having her back, but their thrill got carried away when the Count of Rudling and his granddaughter Priscilla returned. Priscilla talked the count into acting he doesn’t recognize Lassie, so they all remained happy, especially Joe who could spend his days again in Lassie’s company. He kept on whispering her she is his loyal dog and a responsible watchdog as well.
Characters: Lassie, Joe, Sam , Priscilla, count of Rudling, Dan’l Fadden, Dally Fadden, Rowley, Hynes
Joe – Joe is a humble boy who was spending his days playing with his best friend, a collie named Lassie. He loved her very much and was extremely sad after losing her. Joe tried everything for winning Lassie back, and he is loyal, noble and brave. He isn’t afraid of hard work, because he was raised in a miner’s family taught that the hard work is the way for getting out of poverty.
Lassie – a collie who was living with the Carracloughs. She loved little Joe very much, played with him and followed him home after school every day. She was loyal and grateful, brave and gentle. When Joe’s father sold her, she was very sad because she missed her old family, so she did everything in her power to return to her home.
Eric Knight Biography
Eric Knight was a writer and director, born 1897 in Yorkshire, England. He became an American citizen in 1942, just before his death.
He moved to the United States early in his life, serving as a Canadian soldier during the World War I, and as an American major in the World War II as well.
He was third out of for sons, born in a wealthy family but his father was murdered when he was only two years old so his mother went to Russia where she could provide for the family. Soon she moved to the States as well.
He married twice, becoming a father of three daughters while he was married for the first time. Knight became famous by publishing a lot of novels, but his moving story about a dog named Lassie became his most popular work.
He got killed in a plane crash in Northern America, during the World War II in 1943.