I remembered that I had quoted from Astrid the Unstoppable, by Maria Parr, and that it was because it was such a beautiful passage from a rather lovely children’s book. But I somehow didn’t believe it would feel as nice today as it did three years ago.
It does, though, and I’m sure you need some nice words today. One doesn’t always get them.
So here is Astrid, and God, translated by Guy Puzey:
‘Astrid thought that God must have been having a good day when he made her aunties.
“Today I’m going to come up with a surprise,” said God, and then he started putting together an auntie.
He made her skinny and freckly, and decided that she would crumple up like a concertina when she laughed. Then he stuffed her full of noise. He’d never put so much noise in an aunt before, Astrid thought. God decided that she would like everything that was funny, everything that made loud bangs, and everything that moved fast. When he’d finished, he took a step back and looked at that aunt. He’d never seen anything like her. He was so pleased with her that he decided to make another, so by the end of the day, God had made two aunts who looked exactly the same. To put the icing on the cake, he took an extra fistful of freckles from his freckle bowl and sprinkled them all over both of them, especially on their knees.
“Knee freckles are my favourite thing,” said God.’