January. The winds blow us forth. We are supposed to look forward, but for this week, on What Carries Us Off, I’d like to go back. (Please indulge me.)
And it’s not just last-year back.
But way, way back.
To when we were children. To when we read after congee lunches and ate fruits while holding a favourite book on our laps.
The picture above shows some of the precious books that had kept me company back then. I had real fine company. Enid Blyton’s stories were classics to my sisters and me. We would read, and re-read, and talk about the characters and their escapades. (We didn’t know it then, but we had intense literary discussions when we didn’t realize the word ‘literature’ existed.)
We would even role-play out the scenes, and pretend we were climbing the Faraway Tree to different lands and meeting The Old Saucepan Man, Moon Face and Silky. When we went to Grandma’s place and played with our boy cousins, we would sit on Grandpa’s old rocking chair and pretend it was The Wishing Chair. We’d wait for the chair to sprout wings and take us to mysterious places. Oh, the danger when we had to leave behind the baddies but the chair wouldn’t sprout those wings!
There were also quirky characters like Mr. Meddle, the goblins, pixies, fairies, Mr. Pink Whistle, and the good and bad-tempered children in Blyton’s fascinating world.
Few years later, we abandoned fairies for heroines. It was Elizabeth Allen, the naughtiest girl who was also the class monitor, and other girls who attended boarding-schools who had our devoted attention. Boarding schools sounded so fun!
I still have these books. I just don’t know how to throw them away. And … why should I? They were so important to me.
I'd love to hear about yours! What books kept you company in childhood? Did you imagine and play out the scenes, too?
(* On a somewhat irrelevant note: The tiny Snow White book in the picture was the first book I’d owned, or could recall owning. The first that started off a grand string of later-ons. Do you still have your very first book?)
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.