1936 copyright; 5th printing,1967; softbound book illustrated by Robert Lawson; Scholastic Book Services publishers, New York; book in very good condition with unmarked pages and minimal fox ageing.
The Story of Ferdinand (originally 1936) is the best known work written by American author Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The children's book tells the story of a bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights. He sits in the middle of the bull ring failing to take heed of any of the provocations of the matador and others to fight.
Young Ferdinand does not enjoy butting heads with other young bulls, preferring instead to lie under a cork tree smelling the flowers. His mother is concerned that he might be lonely and tries to persuade him to play with the other calves, but when she sees that Ferdinand is content as he is, she leaves him alone.
When the calves grow up, Ferdinand turns out to be the largest and strongest of the young bulls. All the other bulls dream of being chosen to compete in the bullfight in Madrid, but Ferdinand still prefers smelling the flowers instead. One day, five men come to the pasture to choose a bull for the fights. Ferdinand is again on his own, sniffing flowers, when he accidentally sits on a bumblebee. Upon getting stung as a result, he runs wildly across the field, snorting and stamping. Mistaking Ferdinand for a mad and aggressive bull, the men rename him "Ferdinand the Fierce" and take him away to Madrid.
All the beautiful ladies of Madrid turn out to see the handsome matador fight "Ferdinand the Fierce". However, when Ferdinand is led into the ring, he is delighted by the flowers in the ladies' hair and lies down in the middle of the ring to enjoy them, upsetting and disappointing everyone. The Banderilleros were mad, the Picadores were madder, and the matador was so especially mad that he started crying because he could not show off with his cape and sword. Ferdinand is then taken back to his pasture, where to this day, he is still smelling flowers.