02 September 2009

In sickness...

Some of the Onions have been feeling rather poorly lately, and have had to take to their beds. While we are sad for them, and wish them speedy recovery, it put us in mind of a list - and you all know how we love a list.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
What with her sweetness, her kindness, her quiet shyness and her tirelessly charitable nature, Beth was definitely the GOOD girl; some might say uber-good - and look what happened to her!

Dignity in death is all very well, but this Onion found that the clear lesson to be learned here was: be bold girls - rage, rage against the dying of the light - and any other confinements that might confront you.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
'When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another.'
And then there's cousin Colin, incurable invalid and destined to die young...
Didn't we all secretly hope that we too could find our own version of that miraculously reviving garden of delights?

Perhaps the lesson here could be: nature can triumph over nurture.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
Katy Carr's hair is always a mess, and often there are tears in her dress, and she doesn't care at all for being GOOD. But then, when she wilfully disobeys an instruction not to use the swing, she is paralysed and forced to spend FOUR YEARS confined to her room. Katy must find the courage to look inside herself, cultivate her daydreams and practice patience and responsibility if she is to recover and do something grand...

While a favourite for many, this 'classic' proved far too much of an unwelcome morality tale for some young Onions - and was unceremoniously cast across the room and abandoned. Abandoned, I say. For good.

Oh, must there always be a lesson to be learned? Surely there's an uplifting item for our list of confinement books. Oh wait - here's one we prepared earlier:

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Grandson: A book?

Grandfather:
That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father, and today, I'm gonna read it to you.

Grandson:
Does it got any sports in it?

Grandfather:
Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, True Love, miracles....

Grandson:
Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try and stay awake.


2 comments:

sophie said...

I loved What Katy Did as a child, but as I got older it did strike me as punitive and I fell out of love with it. I do hope that unhealthy onions feel better now.

What Kate did next ... said...

As a weeny child, my favourite game was to play Clara from "Heidi," lying wanly on a couch with a rug over my legs.
That's right, the sickly paralysed child, not the healthy running-with-goats girl. Just lazy, I guess...

Get well soon, Onions. No need to rush that copy-edit.