“I have three kinds of friends: those who love me, those who pay no attention to me, and those who detest me.” _Sebastien-Roch Nicolas de Chamfort (1741-94) French Writer
Well…honestly I have four kinds of friends.
Besides the friends who pay no attention to me and the ones who detest me—those are the friends I recently ‘unfriended’ on facebook—there are the friends who love me.
Who has 721 friends anyway?
At a guess, I’d have to say, ‘if you get out of this life with more than a handful of REAL friends, your life has been a success.’ I think I’ve told you before: I believe Our lives are shaped by those who love us – and those who refuse to love us.
My fourth kind of friend? The imaginary ones who live in my books – the friends I make up.
To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve been making up friends since childhood. Being an only child, growing up on a dude ranch high up in the Colorado mountains, with only adults for companions, meant books and imaginary playmates were pretty much a necessity.
For the first six years of my life every winter was spent listening to my mother read aloud from books she collected during her childhood. There was The Little Colonel series (presently found online HERE); Animal Stories by Georges Duplaiz, Little Women and so many little Golden Books I can’t recall them all. Later there was The Girl of the Limberlost, Freckels, and The Harvester by Gene Stratton-Porter.
Mom loved reading aloud, and I loved listening. She also loved to take little e on nature walks around the ranch. I have her to thank for my love of reading, writing, flowers and birds, and oh so much more.
What I didn’t know back then, but understand now – BOOKS DEVELOP IMAGINATION in children! Many of my lifelong friends live inside those stories. I still enjoy reading The Harvester and A Girl of the Limberlost at least once every year. You can read them online, by clicking the titles, but I gotta tell you, nothing is so satisfying as handling my mother’s original copies of the hardcover books.
So anyway, developing imaginary friends for little people is personal passion I’ve developed over many, many years. That’s why, between tee-shirts and gardening, I’ve been scanning another of my stories into PDF format for the kids page. I’ll let you know when it’s finished. In the meanwhile, you might like reading The Sparrow’s Home aloud to your little people.
Happy reading friends!