In the 1930s, the parents of six-year-old Leila tearfully sent her from their home in California to live with relatives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, hoping the drier climate would restore the little girl’s health. Young Leila was reluctant at first to leave her family, but she soon realized that she had embarked on a grand adventure. She spent three years living with her aunt Julie and her uncle, whom she called “Granddaddy” because of his shock of white hair and mustache. Although “Granddaddy” was her special name for him, the rest of the world knew him as Ernest Thompson Seton, noted author, artist, environmentalist, and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America.
The little girl developed a special bond with the seventy-year-old Seton. Granddaddy taught Leila about the wildlife in the area and he took her to visit pueblos and silver mines. In doing so, he shared his reverence for all living things and his profound respect for Native American cultures. Perhaps best of all, Granddaddy was a masterful storyteller.