I recently talked about favourites among Elsa Beskow’s books. I’m not sure if this counted as a true favourite. Yes, I liked it. Yes, I read it all the time. But this was in the olden days when a child didn’t own many books, so obviously I would read and read the same book.
Read. Hah! I started school at six, which was a year early, but the book I’m talking about was well before school. It was Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman, which translates into The story about the tiny tiny old woman. (Somehow that doesn’t have the same ring to it…)
So the reading was presumably done by Mother-of-witch. I hope I didn’t demand the book every day for two years. But I might have done.
But, anyway. I told the neighbour’s children (older ones) that I could read. They didn’t believe me, because they weren’t stupid.
I went on to prove it, by getting out my old and trusted Sagan om den lilla lilla gumman. And then I read it to them, those doubters of no faith at all. They went away with the knowledge that this little mini-witch really could read. (I doubt that child prodigies were known about in our part of the world.)
Mother-of-witch had looked on, saying nothing. Because she knew that I knew it by heart. Every word, and knowing how to – seemingly – follow those words with my finger as I ‘read.’
I reckon I was too young to feel satisfaction, even. And it wasn’t cheating, was it?
(If it looks old-fashioned, that’s because it was published in 1897.)