My Book CoverThe quilts shows are both a lot of fun AND also a lot of work! We both enjoy going and we also enjoy getting home, where we will restock, recharge (we have a short vacation to St Michael’s, MD planned), repack, and head to Chattanooga for the next show Sept 8-13.

Laura mentioned in her last post about the quilts at Charlotte, that I am a fan of dragons. I have always loved dragons and I think it dates back to my childhood from even before I could read. My parents stressed reading to my brothers and I and there were always books around the house. One of the books they bought for us was a book of poetry entitled Favorite Poems Old and New, selected for young readers, by Helen Ferris. This is a terrific collection for kids, it has all kinds of poetry, from silly to tragic. Being three boys we really loved the more bloodthirsty poems. I think my brothers favorite was Spanish Johnny by Willa Cather from the cowboy section (Johnny hangs at the end). I preferred The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. Any night I see clouds blowing over the moon I still recite the first couple of lines aloud, (I think my family is heartily sick of this);

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, …

It is sixteen stanzas long, involves a swashbuckling highwayman and Bess, the innkeepers beautiful black haired daughter, a betrayal, her tragic sacrifice to save his life, and him shot down in a hail of musket fire trying to avenge her. I think I still like it as much now as I did when I was ten. I will re-read it when I finish this.

But as usual, I digress. One of my very first favorite poems was, The Tale of Custard the Dragon by Ogden Nash. It involves a cowardly dragon who becomes the hero when the family is threatened and I believe it is the root of my love of dragons. I would get my Mother and Father to read it to me as often as I could and I think it was one of the reasons I learned to read early, so I did not have to wait for them. This is a fantastic poem to read to kids on your lap, especially when you get to “Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful”. Somewhere in our many moves, (I was an Air Force brat so we moved fairly often), this book got lost. This was the only physical book that I had a sentimental attachment to. I remember when I learned to write my name I wrote it on the flyleaf, since while I let these other people in the house read it, I considered it MY book.

Anyway I did miss the book, and once our kids were born I researched it and found a catalog of out of print books and ordered another copy (this was before the internet made a search like this trivial, I just did a search and you can buy it in a dozen places now, a fact that makes me happy!). I was able to read The Tale of Custard the Dragon to my kids many many times (and tickle them unmerciful). Laura, being Laura (I have mentioned she can really sew right), made me a beautiful handmade red suede book cover, featuring of course… a dragon reading a book. This has kept my book safe from damage for a long time. Maybe I should look into getting her to make a padded cover for me?