A coloring book with a heartwarming and inspirational true story was celebrated Aug. 3 at the farm of the ranchers who inspired it.
“The Little Dozer That Did” was heralded at a well-attended gathering at the Peter Ranch in Indian Valley, where Russ Peter, Debbie Allen and their neighbors used their small tractor to help save their farm from the devastation of the 2021 Dixie Fire.
The heart of the celebration, held on the eve of the second anniversary of the Dixie fire, was the book itself. “The Little Dozer That Did” tells the story of friends and neighbors working together against the flames, which burned nearly one million acres in Plumas and adjacent counties.
The book was distributed at no cost to the public thanks to the Greenville Rotary Club, which paid for the first printing. The free books made for some very happy children at the celebration, where tables were adorned with crayons and markers. Parked nearby was the Little Dozer itself.
The gathering made abundantly clear that the story has touched the hearts of more than just children. It has crossed not only county lines but spanned the globe, with attendees coming from as far as Cambridge, England.
Ken Donnell, a Dixie fire survivor, lead the book project working with the Dixie Fire Collaborative’s Emotional and Spiritual Wellness Committee.
“Perhaps this story can make us well-known enough that resources come to us while we recover.”Ken Donnell
”We will certainly have economic needs that will go on for decades,” he said.
Although Donnell owns the copyrights to the story, all profits and royalties made will be donated to the communities affected by the Dixie Fire on their journey to rehabilitation.
Since its release three months ago, the story has jumped from the coloring book pages to the stage. Music is being written to bring the story to life as a musical, where the Little Dozer will once again be delivering hope and assisting individuals in local communities to heal from the trauma left by the destruction of the Dixie Fire.
If all goes as planned the Magic Beanstalk Players of The West End Theater will be bringing it to life this November. Stay tuned for auditions for little actors ranging in ages from kindergarten to 8th grade.
For those who attended the celebration, the positive energy and support from neighbors shone light on the Aug. 4 anniversary of Greenville’s destruction, providing a lifeline to those still on the throes of finding home and rebuilding a sense of community. It demonstrated the resilience of citizens, who in time of crisis come together to help each other and rise from the ashes as a phoenix.
Copies of The Little Dozer That Did are available at the Dixie Resource Center, 15771 HWY 89, Suite B, Crescent Mills, California.