When I was a kid, probably about ten or eleven, my mum sat on the hard wooden floor in my bedroom and read The Lord of the Rings to me and my younger brother. For much of the book I sobbed my little eyes out. From the moment Sam has to leave the pony, through each harrowing description of death and deceit, I balled. Gandalf falling into the Abyss? Almost. Broke. Me.
And that’s why I love the Lord of the Rings. Because it had me by the heart.
Little Woman is my favourite book of all time (that may say something about me) and when Beth dies…I can’t talk about it.
The Animals of Farthing Wood…a group of animals making their way across England to a wildlife sanctuary. What could go wrong?
The point is, getting emotionally involved in a story is what makes it worth reading. In many of the books and programs that my own children now enjoy conflict of any kind is kept to a minimum. Races always end in a tie. Arguments always end in an apology. Naughty, rude, little
piggies characters always end up gently reprimanded and then jump in muddy puddles are given ice cream. And this is fine for now because B1 and B2 are only 4 and 2 years old.
But I’m looking forward to the day when we can enjoy a good book together…and cry over it.
p.s. Thanks Mum, by the way.
Let me apologise for my extended absence. I have been busily trying to finish some short stories for upcoming competitions (the Unfettered competition and the KBR Award for picture books) and have been neglecting my poor blog – it’s so unloved isn’t it!
Here is another story to make up for it though. I should add, after writing this I had the feeling I had read it before…as in I think it might be someone else’s story that I’ve subconsciously ripped off…but I’m not sure. So I’m going to post it anyway, but if you recognise it (or, God forbid, wrote it) let me know and I’ll pull it down ASAP.
I am Cat. Just Cat.
Once there was Cat and Man.
Cat and Man and sardines and a sunny step.
But Man is gone now.
There is just Cat and cold and hunger.
I smell mice.
Quick, too quick, they scamper away into the grass.
Rustle, rustle and they are gone.
My stomach growls.
Creep, creep, creep.
No one around.
Food for Cat.
Tricked and trapped, trapped and tricked.
It smells like dog in here.
Vroooom vrooom vrooom.
Cats. Cats everywhere.
Why are we here?
To find new homes.
Will a human take me?
No, not you. They only want kittens.
They only want kittens?
You are too old.
I smell chocolate.
I smell grass.
I smell dirt.
I smell boy.
I am Cat. My boy calls me Billy.
Billy and Boy live here.
Billy and Boy and milk and toy mice.
Boy has gone to school now.
But he’ll be back and I’ll be waiting.