Sunday, December 21, 2008


Just look at Autumn's colorful striped legs, so free-spirited and happy... These are the stockings that I got my sister when I was away on vacation, that are still a joyful surprise whenever she wears them again: "Ha-ha-ha-hello, Autumn!" Now that the days look sunny but feel icy, what better way to capture the general temperament with one's choice of legwear?

These tights remind me of Pippi Longstocking, one of Astrid Lindgren's fanciful characters, and a childhood favorite. I remember being especially impressed by the way that Miss Longstocking rolls- and cuts-out her gingerbread cookie dough--on the wood floor of the kitchen of Villa Villa Cola, no less! I would have been thrilled to get one of her giant Mr. Nielson monkey cookies as a Christmas gift!

But, a book closer to my heart by this same Swedish storyteller, The Children of Noisy Village, depicts a more everyday sort of story with more everyday sorts of children. "Noisy Village" comes from the fact that there three houses close together, each with children. At this moment I must admit to feeling somewhat like the nine-year-old main character, named Lisa, when she says:
The night before Christmas Eve I felt sad because I didn't think that Mommy and Agda could ever get everything ready for Christmas. It looked so messy all over the house and especially in the kitchen. I cried a little after I had gone to bed.

(Real truth: Even as a child, I thought that, if this Lisa-girl was so concerned, she should get out of bed and help her poor mother!)

What I enjoyed most about the children of "Noisy Village" is that they seemed always to be making things, and not just the woven paper heart baskets that Swedish people have as Christmas decorations. All their own, these children have stories, songs, poems, games, mischief, plans, and celebrations.

Happy holidays, everybody.


Amber said...

I was thinking of those Mr. Nielson monkey cookies this morning as I was waking-up. I was very impressed by the fact that she able to achieve a curly monkey tail without it breaking in the baking process. Maybe we can bake some monkey cookies this year?

Rose said...

The comment about the Lisa girl, and if she was so worried, she might get out of bed to help her poor mother. Made me laugh out loud. There is a lot of truth in fiction.