Friday, January 23, 2009

P.L. Travers necklace

{Please note: No books are harmed in the making of my pearl necklaces, they are merely virtual.}

The nanny next door will be celebrating her birthday in a few days, and this is the necklace I would love to give her, as a token of my understanding and affection.

I dived for these pearls (thanks Julia for that wonderful phrase in your latest commentbox) in the Collins Modern Classics edition 1998 of "Mary Poppins."

First pearl
...and Michael suddenly discovered that you could not look at Mary Poppins and disobey her. There was something strange and extraordinary about her - something that was frightening and at the same time most exciting.

Candlestick charm
"I was only saying," said Michael, meekly, "that we hoped you wouldn't be going away soon --" He stopped, feeling very red and confused.
Mary Poppins stared from him to Jane in silence. Then she sniffed.
"I'll stay till the wind changes," she said shortly, and she blew out her candle and got into bed."

Second pearl
"Isn't it a funny thing, Mary Poppins," he said drowsily. "I've been so very naughty and I feel so very good."
"Humph!" said Mary Poppins as she tucked him in and went away to wash up the supper things......

Starling charm
The twins sat up and looked at her.
"Huh!" said the Starling contemptuously. "Look at 'em! They think they're the World's Wonders. Little miracles - I don't think! Of course you'll forget - same as Jane and Michael."
"We won't," said the Twins, looking at the Starling as if they would like to murder him.
The Starling jeered.
"I say you will," he insisted. "It isn't your fault, of course," he added more kindly. "You'll forget because you just can't help it. There never was a human that remembered after the age of one - at the very least - except, of course, Her." And he jerked his head over his shoulder at Mary Poppins.

Snake charm
"Mary Poppins," she said, looking very hard at her, "were you at the Zoo last night?"
Mary Poppins' eyes popped.
"At the Zoo?" In the middle of the night? Me?....."
"But were you?" Jane persisted.
"I have all I need of zoos in this nursery, thank you, said Mary Poppins uppishly. "Hyenas, orang-utans, all of you. Sit up straight, and no more nonsense."
Jane poured out her milk.
"Then it must have been a dream," she said, "after all."
But Michael was staring, open-mouthed, at Mary Poppins, who was now making toast at the fire. "Jane," he said in a shrill whisper, "Jane, look!" He pointed, and Jane, too, saw what he was looking at.
Round her waist Mary Poppins was wearing a belt made of golden scaly snakeskin, and on it was written in curving, snaky writing:
"A Present From the Zoo."

Last pearl
Down below, just outside the front door, stood Mary Poppins, dressed in her coat and hat, with her carpet bag in one hand and her umbrella in the other. The wind was blowing wildly about her, tugging at her skirt, tilting her hat rakishly to one side. But it seemed to Jane and Michael that she did not mind, for she smiled as though she and the wind understood each other.


Blue Mountains Mary said...

I love that last pearl....

Suse said...

Oh oh oh this post made me want to rush to the children's bookshelf and grab all four of the Mary Poppins books (read so many times that they are starting to fall apart).

That was quite beautiful. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

How have I never read Mary Poppins?! All I have in my head is the somewhat insipid movie. Must read the original.

Julia said...

I suspected you would not harm a book, but the librarian*~ in me is glad of the confirmation ;-).

*Preservationist rather than shushing type.
~Not my real job, though it seems to run in the family.

eurolush said...

I think the nanny next door would love her necklace.

As I recall, she's the one who twisted her ankle a while back, isn't she?

You came to her rescue...and wrote a wonderful description of it all.

One of the first posts of yours I read...and loved.

Esti said...

... she and the wins understood each other...
that's a beautiful line! I hadn't read mary poppins in English before...