Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bloor Line, leaving me stunned.

Asian woman, early 20s, wearing a black nylon jacket with red scarf, black glasses and bright blue Nike sneakers.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Harcourt)

Page two:

I showed my masterpiece to the grown-ups, and asked them whether the drawing frightened them.

But they answered: "Frighten? Why should any one be frightened by a hat?"

My drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant.

My copy of The Little Prince is from 1943, my grandmother's. I often stayed over on Friday nights. She'd leave a pile of books by my bed while I unpacked my bag, a tiny suitcase made of jean cloth. I'd change into my sleep wear and meet her in the kitchen where she'd read me poetry, stories of highwaymen, "mon petit chou" and walking on leaves. Then we'd boil chocolate and play 500 until my head nodded. I'd fall asleep to thoughts of Love Boat guest stars and wake up to the smell of Bisquick, her pancakes always crisped around the edges, sopping with grease. She'd set up a TV tray in the living room and leave for her walk, the poodle clipping at her heels. I'd sneak into her record cabinet and listen to Elvis in Hawaii, Edith Piaf and early Eurythmics. All the while, The Little Prince sat by my bed, delicate water colours spilling off the edges of aging pages.

I was the first to go through her apartment, an invitation extended months before she died. "Please" she said, "just take this."
Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognize it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.
Miss you, Grandma.

3 comments:

Kate said...

So beautiful. I adore that book. Thank you.

ms peacock said...

that first excerpt is fantastic.

Julie Wilson said...

I'm glad you like it, Kate. It's a treasure, isn't it?

Ms. Peacock, as always, a pleasure. ;)