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Texas Panhandle Wildfires Destroy Home of ‘Hank the Cowdog’ Author

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When wildfires in the Texas Panhandle broke out this past week, destroying over 400,000 acres, sadly the M-Cross Ranch wasn’t spared from the devastation. Home to author John R. Erickson, who penned the “Hank the Cowdog” series, the only things remaining on the property are a barn, a pickup truck, and a tractor.

Texas Panhandle Wildfires Destroy Home of ‘Hank the Cowdog’ Author

Photo: Facebook/Hank the Cowdog

In a KCBD 11 news story, Erickson’s daughter confirmed that he, his wife Kris, and their horses were able to escape the fire unharmed, but unfortunately, all of his cattle were killed on the ranch, which is located roughly 25 miles southeast of Perryton. This is also the town in which he and his wife will be staying temporarily until next steps can be sorted out.

Texas Panhandle Wildfires Destroy Home of ‘Hank the Cowdog’ Author

Photo: Facebook/Hank the Cowdog

If you visit the “Hank the Cowdog” website, you’ll see Erickson’s bio details include over 600 articles authored and 75 books written and published. He was born in Midland, and his family made the move to Perryton when he was three years old. His writing talent went unnoticed until senior year of high school, and after earning his BA at the University of Texas, and leaving Harvard Divinity School three hours short of his Master’s, he married Kris in Dallas in 1967 and went on to work at ranches in Oklahoma and Texas from 1974 to 1981. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife launched “Hank the Cowdog” as a self-publishing venture, coming out with the first book in 1983. The series has won the hearts and minds of children from around the world, and have also been developed into plays and audiobooks.

Texas Panhandle Wildfires Destroy Home of ‘Hank the Cowdog’ Author

Photo: Facebook/Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library

The “Hank the Cowdog” website features a Teacher’s Corner with supporting activities and discussion questions, reader games, music, and the opportunity to join Hank’s Security Force. The fact that this fire has taken Erickson’s ranch will most likely not hinder Hank’s future fun and upcoming releases, but in the meantime his fans wish the author and his wife Kris all the best at this time, and will await his future work which the USA Today has called “the best family entertainment in years.”

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