I was sorting through our big, messy bookcase today and I came across this little stack of books, all dusty and a bit torn.
They smelled like an antiques store and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed with all these memories from olde times of yore when I barely knew how to read but was damn eager to learn.
I remember reading through the first 30 pages of “The hunchbacked horsie”. It seemed like I had read a Dostoyevsky novel at that time and I was so exhilarated I wanted to subscribe for the Guinness Book of Records!
“The Emperor’s new clothes” was a story that boggled my young mind – I couldn’t understand how anyone could be so stupid and not see he has no clothes on…
“Ten little friends” was one of my favorites – the stories were funny and I confess that I wanted to cut my mom’s wedding dress to make myself a princess outfit, just like the little girl in one of the stories. Thank God I was not allowed to play with scissors!
I guess though that what spurred my love for reading was this book with stories from all over the world.
I used to read these stories over and over again till every single word was stuck to my brain like omelet to a very bad frying pan. And then I used to tell them verbatim to every kid at school and my grandmommy and anyone who had been blessed with gargantuan amounts of patience.
Do you know the story of the Chinese princess and her magic dragon? You don’t? Want to hear it?