The last two weeks have been crazy – many a lost purse, blocked drain and sick cat to keep me busy, so I do hope you’ll forgive my radio silence.
Couple of pieces of good news for you:
Firstly, I have recently received a beautiful copy a super-exciting new children’s book, The Grotlyn, by Benji Davis, the much-loved author of The Storm Whale – I’ve read it, and it’s fantastic, so keep your eyes peeled for a review in the next couple of days, and maybe consider buying a copy in the meantime.
Secondly, but most importantly, it’s Roald Dahl Day!
I hope you have all managed to take a little time out to appreciate, or celebrate in some way, this wonderful children’s author. As for myself, I plan to watch the film adaptation of The Witches the second I get home tonight – the book has always held a special place in my heart – partly, but not just, due to the present of mice.
I love mice, after all, mice, I am fairly certain, all like each other. People don’t.
In the meantime, to keep myself ticking over, and for the personal enjoyment for each and every one of you reading this, here is a little excerpt from the book. It’s quite possibly the loveliest thing you will read all day, and sure to breed all the good thoughts – remember, if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely
“How long does a Mouse live?”
“Ah,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for you to ask me that.”
There was a silence. She sat there smoking away and gazing at the fire.
“Well,” I said. “How long do we live, us mice?”
“I have been reading about mice,” she said. “I have been trying to find out everything I can about them.”
“Go on then, Grandmamma. Why don’t you tell me?”
“If you really want to know,” she said, “I’m afraid a mouse doesn’t live for a very long time.”
“How long?” I asked.
“Well, an Ordinary Mouse only lives for about three years,” she said. “But you are not an ordinary mouse. You are a mouse-person, and that is a very different matter.”
“How different?” I asked. “How long does a mouse-person live, Grandmamma?”
“Longer,” she said. “Much longer.”
“A mouse-person will almost certainly live for three times as long as an ordinary mouse,” my grandmother said. “About nine years.”
“Good!” I cried. “That’s great! It’s the best news I’ve ever had!”
“Why do you say that?” she asked, surprised.
“Because I would never want to live longer than you,” I said. “I couldn’t stand being looked after by anybody else.”
There was a short silence. She had a way of fondling me behind the ears with the tip of one finger. It felt lovely.
“How old are you, Grandmamma?” I asked.
“I’m eighty-six,” she said.
“Will you live another eight or nine years?”
“I might,” she said. “With a bit of luck.”
“You’ve got to,” I said. “Because by then I’ll be a very old mouse and you’ll be a very old grandmother and soon after that we’ll both die together.”
“That would be perfect,” she said.”