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Elderly Mississippi woman surprised with Christmas book she wrote to entertain great-grandchild

Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 7:03 PM CST
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CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - An elderly Clinton woman’s loving story to entertain her great-grandchild turned into a Christmas book that will inspire generations to come.

She tells of a mouse family lacking material things but rich in love, which brings a Christmas miracle.

“It was Christmas Eve and the Mouse family lived in the dump,” read 97-year-old Doreene McCoy.

She was reading from The Wonderful Christmas, a book she wrote just over 20 years ago to entertain her great-granddaughter. In October, her daughter Jody Gore, surprised her with the printed version.

It is a Christmas story of a poor mouse family living in a dump down hill from a rich family.

“I grew up during the depression. So I know how it is to be poor,” said McCoy. “When I saw it in print I said there’s a moral to this story of the little fellows down in the dump who were unhappy and everything, but they had faith.”

The nonagenarian, an adventurer who has lived in 11 states and two countries, is passing this story down to her great-great-grandchildren.

“When we showed it to Doreene, she cried,” said artist Marijane Whitfield.

Her daughter asked her friend, retired Clinton Jr. High art teacher Whitfield, to illustrate and bring the book to life.

“When I got the story and read it, it really inspired me. I was really honored that I was asked to do this,” said Whitfield. “The more I got into it, the more little pictures I wanted to do.”

The children’s tale brings to mind hardships some are now facing, but McCoy looks forward to the future.

“I just hope it will be a better world next year,” added the Nebraska native. McCoy turns 98 on June 7.

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