Tag Archives: children’s literature

Bicycle for Two

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Philippa is pushing through busy Main Street on a sunny Friday afternoon with her son Fred in the backseat of her bicycle by dint of solicitation and fortitude of the valorous McGreen family.  Fred, an orphan abandoned at the age of two weeks on the step of her gingerbread lookalike house, is her de facto son, the middle one between Alfred, the eldest son of herculean feats of athleticism and the youngest, Philip, “Phil,” who, on an account of the solidification of hereditary traits of the adventurous family, goes for jocular adventure. But Fred is a different soul, he is a sensitive soul with a great mind and a tender heart. And today the foundling of Philippa is very ill that requires a doctor’s immediate attention; hence the mother is forcefully working pedals to Dr. Hobson.

image (4)The mother and the son is also escorted by a trusty entourage of Phil, who is also concerned about his dear brother. Small as he is, Philip is all bravery and cheerfulness. He wants to make sure all’s well with Fred, who always reads him sweet bedtime stories by his nightly bedside as well as other illuminating stories about ancient Greek heros and the gods and goddesses of the Parthenon, great historical figures, and oeuvres of fine writers throughout the western civilization.  Fred to Phill is what Yoda is to Luke in the Star Wars. Philippa is pleased to see her sons bound by Charity, Hope, and Faith, the three theological virtues, not by dint of mere blood relation that is often devoid of the virtues by default.

image (2)When the McGreen trio arrives at Dr. Hobson’s office on Kingsbridge road, they are amiably accosted by  Helen, one of the prettiest and kindest ladies in Avonlea who is married with three children to a grocery proprietor Priam, who fell in love with her at first sight by thinking, ‘She’s beautiful, and therefore to be wooed. She’s a woman; therefore to be won.’ Helen and her three-old son George are pleased to see her neighbors there and wants to know what has brought all three of them to this far. “Fred has been in agony for two weeks due to a serious case of abscess on his right shoulder,” says Philippa, “But Fred did not tell me and his brothers until this morning, enduring all to himself only the gruesome pain that stymied his everyday activities, such as eating and working. In fact, the pain even prevented him from reading a book!”

image (3)Helen does not understand Fred’s reason of silence that was broken this morning, so she ventures to inquire about the cause. “Fred, why did you not tell your mother when it began to hurt you? Had you told her about it earlier, you would have been cured.” Fred is absorbed in all the dialogues between his mother and Helen and  forms the most honest and provident answer to the lady’s inquiry. “At first, I thought it would go away because it had happened before. But although I tried myself applying to a topical ointment and taking doses of pain suppressant and high hopes, it just became worsen… What’s more, I did not want to worry mom because she was always very busy with running the restaurant and the household all by herself. Now I am in great pain now, which has compelled me to alert mom about it.”

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Upon hearing such stream of heartfelt soliloquy of Fred, Philippa’s eyes are welled up in tears and with an insurmountable gushing power of pathos and charity (which actually means “Love” as its original meaning of Caritas,) she hugs her dear son Fred and tells him tender words that can only be true if carried out by the one who possesses such spirit and soul: “O, my dearie Fred! You really shouldn’t have worried about my work and myself because I am your mother. A mother is ascribed to attend to her child with unconditional love, and it is an immutably, intractably, cardinal duty of Mother, who is also endowed with magical power to endure anything. So you do not have to worry about me, ever, Love.” Feeling the heartbeat of Fred against her own, Philippa reminds herself of her mother’s advice that it is a wise mother that knows her own child. All the more, she believes that love’s reason’s without reason, especially in the family.

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Bonbon Brunch Bonhomie

IMG_4017It’s one fine Saturday afternoon, and Hans Bauer and Zeus Magoo are as cheerful and loquacious as sparrows in the morning sky as they are talking away about the weekly panorama of Avonlea,families, and businesses at the delightful brunch hosted by their good business partner John Elephant, who has not only an acute business mind but also intelligence embodied in geniality out of his deep concern for humanity. So as a token of appreciation of individuality, John asked Hans and Zeus in advance  of their choices of brunch rather than deciding the menu on his part (or his wife Rachel’s, to be precise). It’s in fact convenient for Rachel to prepare for the guests’ meals and also interesting to detect a trace of character and personality in each of the meals by its ingredients and condiments it accompanies. As  tree is known by its fruits, a persona can be interpreted by what he eats to a certain extent because people tend to stick to diets of their choice.

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“I must say it has been a fine week weather-wise, ” John says blissfully before having the first bite of his lobster cooked in his favorite vino by Rachel,  “It’s spring in earnest, and we are entering Season of Summer as if we are flying on an airplane! Speaking of which, I am going to California  next week to consider buying a two-story house there. My experience with treacherous weathers on the East compelled me to look westward. In fact, California reminds me a lot of Cape Town, where I came from. But I am unsure whether or not my whole family will have to relocate there. I am thinking of Rancho Santa Margarita in southern California. That’s where I am going to look around first.

IMG_4019Zeus Magoo, who runs a convenient kiosk on 1291 Suhs Avenue, is surprised by John’s sudden intention of relocation to California because to Zeus moving a place of livinghood with a family, let alone his means of business seems to be too risky a business itself. “Well, it’s a nice idea to get away from the grim East, but I don’t think the nice weather should be the alpha factor to make you decide to uproot your livinghood, John. I mean, you can always vacation there with your family to escape from the blustery winter days, but moving there for good may ensue unforeseeable implications you can’t think of. Of course, you have enough resources to officiate a new residential and business addresses in the Sunshine State, but you need to think about this moving there carefully.”

IMG_4022“Yes, I agree with Zeus on that.” Hans Bauer, a tram conductor of thirty years, chimes in with his quiet agreement. “John, you are a man of prudence and sagacity, so it is hardly to expect you to act on impulses or whims. Think again, and think good. We don’t want to lose our trusty John to the Wild West. Surely, the eastern climate is not the most cheerful not salubrious to the sunny temperament, such as you possess, but then it’s not too bad to live here. At least, it’s better than Hanover, where I cam from at the age of eighteen.” Hans is then momentarily carried away by the floaty recollections of his early year with a melody of nostalgia.

The Trio’s brun table is filled with delicious food and general bonhomie air mixed with a certain pang of farewell, expectations for fortuitous future, and memories of the good old days that each of them is feeling at the same time. All in all, there is nothing more like having someone to talk to in times of need. That’s why Epicurus once said,  “We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.”

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