The Elf and the Dormouse by Oliver Herford.
UNDER a toadstool crept a wee Elf,
Out of the rain to shelter himself.
Under the toadstool, sound asleep,
Sat a big Dormouse all in a heap.
Trembled the wee Elf, frightened and yet
Fearing to fly away lest he get wet.
To the next shelter—maybe a mile!
Sudden the wee Elf smiled a wee smile.
Tugged till the toadstool toppled in two.
Holding it over him, gaily he flew.
Soon he was safe home, dry as could be.
Soon woke the Dormouse—”Good gracious me!
“Where is my toadstool?” loud he lamented.
—And that’s how umbrellas first were invented.
“He worked on his knees now, as if praying.”
~ Killing Bay by Chris Ould
A Conservative by Charlotte Perkins S. Gilman.
THE garden beds I wandered by
One bright and cheerful morn,
When I found a new-fledged butterfly,
A-sitting on a thorn,
A black and crimson butterfly
All doleful and forlorn.
I thought that life could have no sting
To infant butterflies,
So I gazed on this unhappy thing
With wonder and surprise.
While sadly with his waving wing
He wiped his weeping eyes.
Said I, “What can the matter be?
Why weepest thou so sore?
With garden fair and sunlight free
And flowers in goodly store,”—
But he only turned away from me
And burst into a roar.
Cried he, “My legs are thin and few
Where once I had a swarm!
Soft fuzzy fur—a joy to view—
Once kept my body warm,
Before these flapping wing-things grew,
To hamper and deform!”
At that outrageous bug I shot
The fury of mine eye;
Said I, in scorn all burning hot,
In rage and anger high,
“You ignominious idiot!
Those wings are made to fly!”
“I do not want to fly,” said he,
“I only want to squirm!”
And he drooped his wings dejectedly,
But still his voice was firm:
“I do not want to be a fly!
I want to be a worm!
O yesterday of unknown lack
To-day of unknown bliss!
I left my fool in red and black;
The last I saw was this,—
The creature madly climbing back
Into his chrysalis.
“The last thing Frank Borman needed was a phone call when he was trying to fly his spacecraft.”
~Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger
A Day for Wandering by Clinton Scollard
I SET apart a day for wandering;
I heard the woodlands ring,
The hidden white-throat sing,
And the harmonic West,
Beyond a far hill-crest,
Touch its Aeolian string.
Remote from all the brawl and bruit of men,
The iron tongue of Trade,
I followed the clear calling of a wren
Deep to the bosom of a sheltered glade,
Where interwoven branches spread a shade
Of soft cool beryl like the evening seas
Unruffled by the breeze.
And there—and there—
I watched the maiden-hair,
The pale blue iris-grass,
The water-spider in its pause and pass
Upon a pool that like a mirror was.
I took for confidant
The diligent ant
Threading the clover and the sorrel aisles;
For me were all the smiles
Of the sequestered blossoms there abloom—
Chalice and crown and plume;
I drank the ripe rich attars blurred and blent,
This weeks Old But Not Forgotten is a novel by an old favorite author – In the Forest by Edna O’Brien.
Edna O’Brien writes wonderful characters. She’s an author I want to go back to read, but there are always so many books to read!
In the Forest is a bit of a murder mystery and the idea of it comes from a true story. “The Kinderschreck” (someone of whom small children are afraid) is the main focus. The focus of the story is how someone comes to be a killer.
“My mother had always been the one to pick me up from nursery school, but one late June afternoon in 1969, a couple of weeks before my fourth birthday, my father arrived first and pushed me into the backseat of his gray Chevy Malibu.”
~ Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution by Peter Andreas
Wise by Lizette Woodworth Reese
AN apple orchard smells like wine;
A succory flower is blue;
Until Grief touched these eyes of mine,
Such things I never knew.
And now indeed I know so plain
Why one would like to cry
When spouts are full of April rain—
Such lonely folk go by!
So wise, so wise—that my tears fall
Each breaking of the dawn;
That I do long to tell you all—
But you are dead and gone.