Saturday, March 29, 2008


The Book: THE FAIRY TALES OF OSCAR WILDE, illustrated by Michael Hague. Henry Holt and Company, 1993 (first edition). Fine condition.
First read: 1975 (best guess)
Owned since: 1993 (this edition)

Yesterday's weather was so grim that I pulled this book off the shelf to reread "The Selfish Giant."

The Selfish Giant decides to ban children from his garden, and puts up a sign saying "Trespassers will be Prosecuted." The children stay away, but the spring does too:

But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant's garden she gave none. "He is too selfish," she said. So it was always winter there, and the North Wind and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

It's not true that spring is banished from Maine -- the sun's out, though the temperature is only 24F and we might get more snow later -- but yesterday it felt that way.

Spring returns to the Selfish Giant's garden when the children do, and the Giant restores one blighted tree by helping a little boy sit on one of its branches. But the boy disappears.

Although the Giant has a long, happy life with the other children in his beautiful garden, he does not see the little boy again until the very end of his life. The Giant finds that the boy has been wounded: he has holes in his feet and hands. The Giant asks who did this; the boy says they are the wounds of love.
And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, "You let me play once in your garden, today you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise."

And that seems like a good place to end the Easter Week theme.

No comments: