Fish Feathers

The other night, when I could not sleep, I stumbled on a copy of Stuart Little.

I picked it up and started to read.  I was instantly delighted by its sweetly spun absurdity.  Stuart Little is the story of a mature-for-his-age mouse in an otherwise human household and how he navigates the world with a jaunty self-possession, despite his small stature.  The story charmed me unrelentingly.

On a quest to find his little bird friend who had flown north (because she had been warned in writing by a pigeon that she might be in danger by nesting in a Boston Fern), he drove a mouse sized car (supplied by a dentist with a love of model boats and cars) and ends up becoming a substitute teacher on route.  I know, its ridiculous, but it all makes sense when E.B. White tells it.

He asks one of his temporary students if he can "tell us(the class) what is important."
Henry Rackmeyer responds that what is important is "A shaft of sunlight at the end of a dark afternoon, a note in music and the way the back of a baby's neck smells if its mother keeps it tidy."

Stuart goes on to ask the rest of the class, "What did Henry Rackmeyer forget?"
"He forgot ice cream with chocolate sauce on it." said Mary quickly.
"Exactly," said Stuart."Ice cream is important."
-1945 EB.White


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