giovedì 8 maggio 2014

Le parole degli altri #4

«What used the darling ones to do? How used they keep themselves contented before this monster (ndr television set) was invented?»
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know? We’ll say it very loud and slow:
They’d read and read, and then proceed to read some more!
Great Scott! Gadzooks! One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed, more books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens and whales
And tresure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
and sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be? Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and —
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How The Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr Toad, and bless my soul, There’s Mr Rat and Mr Mole —
Oh books, what books they used to know, those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away,
and in its place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books, ignoring all the dirty looks, the screams and yells, the bites and kicks, and children hitting you with sticks.
Fear not, because we promise you
that, in about a week or two of having nothing else to do,
They now begin to feel the need of having something good to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy that fills their hearts.
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen in that ridiculous machine,
that nauseating, full, unclean, repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid will love you more for what you did.

p.s. Regarding Mike Teawee, we very much regret that we shall simply have to wait and see if we can get him back his height. But if we can’t — it serves him right.

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