03 March 2011

“She Never Slapped Her Hippopotamus”

This is a passage from E. Nesbit’s “Uncle James, or The Purple Stranger,” a story collected in The Book of Dragons. It introduces one of the main characters, a little princess.

She was always kind to her pets. She never slapped her hippopotamus when it broke her dolls in its playful gambols, and she never forgot to feed her rhinoceroses in their little hutch in the backyard. Her elephant was devoted to her, and sometimes Mary Ann made her nurse quite cross by smuggling the dear little thing up to bed with her and letting it go to sleep with its long trunk laid lovingly across her throat…
Alas, a few paragraphs further comes an explanation that erases the visual image this passage alone provides. But it’s delightful while it lasts.

No comments: