Friday, November 23, 2018

Gratitude Past and Present

Happy Thanksgiving all readers everywhere. What could be a bigger blessing than a free press and the right to read anything we want? My favorite activity is reading. I can even remember the first book I ever read on my own. Ironically, it had to do with Thanksgiving.

I had finished all my school work. Our class room had three grades together. The teacher was occupied with the older kids. We had just learned the alphabet and were beginning to read. She said I could choose something from the books on a special shelf. So I picked one.

The name of the book was Hoot Owl. There was a little pilgrim boy who wandered off from his friends and family who were preparing a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. The little boy got lost in the woods. But he was rescued by a kindly little Indian boy named Hoot Owl who was happy to help him find his way back home. Elated, the community joyfully urged Hoot Owl to invite his parents and their friends to join them for the abundant Thanksgiving feast. The Indians accepted and everyone became great friends.

The ending made me incredibly happy. I simply glowed with the realization that our Pilgrim fathers were magnanimous generous people and the native inhabitants really, really appreciated all of our friendly gestures.

Yeah. Well. You've got to remember, this was first grade--a long, long time ago. I wonder if the book would get published nowadays. Besides, the big underlying dazzling magic was that their were books right there in our humble class room that actually had stories. I didn't have to put up with Spot and Jane and that wretched ball any more.

Usually, in a Thanksgiving post, I express my heartfelt appreciation for my family. That's still my biggest blessing. But right up there in the gratitude category is my reverence for libraries and the access we have to books in this country.

Thank you, thank you librarians everywhere. God bless all the writers who keep books on the shelves and the readers who keep us going.

And God bless little Hoot Owl who warmed my heart and made my first book such a happy experience.


Irene Bennett Brown said...

Enjoyed this post so much. And I agree about libraries, and books. Couldn't live without them.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Your Miss Royal's Mules is on the way, Irene. I can't wait to read it. I accidentally ordered by Kindle the first time and didn't mean to. I have no doubt it will be up to the standards of all your previous wonderful books.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Thanks, Charlotte. I hope you like it. I'm hearing my story referred to as "up-lit" as opposed to dark, bloody thrillers. Means uplifting, I guess. I'm told publishers are looking for this sort of book, so we'll see how it goes.