Such lovely words

Gay-Neck

Last night I finally finished reading Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon to Anna. What an adventure! We felt as if we had watched this young man and his bird climb the Himalayas, hike through jungle, survive wild animal attacks, sleep in trees, help save the Allies from the Germans, and dine with Tibetan priests. All in one book!

Adventure aside, the prose was just so lovely! Listen:

The Himalayas in the spring are unique. The ground glittered with white violets, interspersed with raspberries already ripening here and there in the hot moist gorges where the ferns were spreading their large arms as if to embrace the white hills lying like precious stones on the indigo-blue throat of the sky.” (p.168)

Or:

What a relief it was to be there among men who lived above the battle of our everyday life!…Ghond and I went to the dining-room where the lamas were waiting for us. The room looked like a colonnade of ebony whose capitals were decorated with dragons of gold. The teak-wood beams, grown quite dark through many centuries, were carved into broad clear lotus designs, as delicate as jasmine but as stong as metal. On the floor of red sandstone, orange-robed monks were seated in silent prayer…” (p.170)

And one last taste:

Below, a [water] buffalo’s bellowing unlocked the insect voices one by one, tearing into shreds and tatters the stillness of the evening. An owl hooted near by, making Gay-Neck snuggle closely to my heart under my tunic. Suddenly the Himalayan Doël, a night-bird, very much like the nightingale, flung abroad its magic song. Like a silver flute blown by a God, trill upon trill, cadenza upon cadenza, spilled its torrential peace that rushed like rain down the boughs of the trees, dripping over their rude barks to the floor of the jungle, then through their very roots into the heart of the earth.” (p.183)

This kind of delicious literature reminds me of some other books who were so pretty to read aloud to children:

Linnets and ValeriansLinnets and Valerians

Peter PanPeter Pan

The Reluctant Dragon

Reluctant Dragon

 

As I said to my dear friend Darla B. yesterday, after she had given us a terrific tour of  library, when my children are all grown, I will have to volunteer to read at the library until I have some grandchildren to read to, or even when I have grandchildren to read to. Reading aloud beautiful literature to children is one of the sweetest pleasures of life! Especially when the words come “trippingly on the tongue” as they do in these books.



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