Tuesday, 25 May 2010

By request

Here is the original of my fabulous work of literature and illustration. I am acceding to this request because fiddling with images etc. is far more interesting than doing my income estimate for the next financial year. On such things does the future of blogging rest.

As with all artifacts there is a story behind the condition and survival of this story. As far as I can work out, I must have written and illustrated the story in 1976 during year one in Malaysia. My beloved teacher must have sent the story to my parents in Taiwan. They stored it folded with several other stories. Somehow it survived 13 subsequent years of moving back and forth from Taiwan to Australia, 21 years in storage in Sydney and now hopefully a final home in Marburg.

When we visited Sydney early this month, my mother handed the folded bundle to me and said that she hadn't been able to throw them out. I had no idea what they were but in the flurry of kids, trains, plane and car, thought nothing more of it. Putting away the last few items from our trip (yes it took me a while to sort myself out completely) I wondered what the bundle was. On the outside were scribbled card scores from a game I evidently played with my siblings and parents. The writing was mine but I didn't remember the game nor at the time did I notice what the paper was. One of my enduringly bad habits is scribbling notes on whatever scrap of paper falls to hand. This habit must have started sometime in my teens so the stories were lying around then and I wasn't one to let a scrap of paper go to waste.

Anyway, I finally unfolded the documents and discovered a remnant of my childhood. I clearly remember sitting in the sunny year one classroom that perched on a green hillside above a stream and with dense jungle close on the other side of the valley. You could look out the louvered windows and see vines, trees and the occasional monkey. I remember gripping my pencil and trying to use my best handwriting. I remember how I really wanted to make my teacher happy.

Now the school is no longer a school. That beloved teacher died long ago and I am most definitely not five years old. But it brings back many happy memories. I'm glad my mum hung onto it all those years.


Vivi said...

I like that the witch is smiling. I can't see the skeleton -- is it pictured?

Blithe said...

I think inserting a skeleton in the house (or even drawing a skeleton) was too much for my skills so I simply stuck to the basics.

Joe MN said...

Vivi and I are clearly of the same mind - I couldn't see the skeleton either. I finally decided, it must be in the house.