Friday, February 29, 2008
Fairies and Luncheon Baskets
Root children dolls from Silken Sky
Bedtime stories these days consist of the Snowdrop Fairy and the Crocus Fairy running outside to prepare the way for Lady Spring. Often, the Snowdrop Fairy and the Crocus Fairy meet up with their friends, Shy Violet, Jonquil and Grape Hyacinth. The rest of the story goes one of two ways:
1) They meet up with Iris, the Rainbow Fairy, who lets them climb the rainbow bridge and slide down the other side until it's time to go home for supper and bed
2) A picnic with long descriptions of what they ate followed by going home to bed
I do not deny that The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfershas played a large role in these stories that Lucia requests. By the way, Lucia was looking at the pictures one day, and asked, "Why are the Root Children all blonde?"
"That's a good question," I replied. "I think it's because the author was German." (To be exact, she was East Prussian.)
As far as the second item, it's obvious what influences my food descriptions. I am indebted to The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Graham. Notable examples:
From chapter one, a description of what's in Rat's luncheon basket
`There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; `coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrolls
cresssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater -- -- '
`O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: `This is too much!'
`Do you really think so?' enquired the Rat seriously. `It's only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I'm a mean beast and cut it very fine!'
From chapter eight, a description of Toad's prison food
When the girl returned, some hours later, she carried a tray, with a cup of fragrant tea steaming on it; and a plate piled up with very hot buttered toast, cut thick, very brown on both sides, with the butter running through the holes in it in great golden drops, like honey from the honeycomb. The smell of that buttered toast simply talked to Toad, and with no uncertain voice...
From chapter nine, the contents of Rat's luncheon-basket once again
There he got out the luncheon-basket and packed a simple meal, in which, remembering the stranger's origin and preferences, he took care to include a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried, and a long-necked straw-covered flask wherein lay bottled sunshine shed and garnered on far Southern slopes.
Really, it is all too much. If I had paws, I'd be waving them in ecstacies. I shall leave you with a new photo of my garden. Today, I edged the sidewalk with decorative bricks that hold up the dirt and make the garden spot look tidier. Now that there's a definite border, some of the hardy succulents can trail over the sides. With all of the digging and delving I've done to remove roots (but not root children!) from the soil, I have reasonable hopes that the shade plants will actually grow in the part of ground that has been inhospitable to my offerings in years past.
May you all have a relaxing weekend. Happy Leap Day!