Sunday, March 3, 2013

Storytelling Sunday...Alice

It’s Storytelling Sunday over at From High in the Sky.  And since Sian’s storytelling theme for this year is Pick Your Precious, I thought I might join in from time to time.  I certainly have a few precious things around here and that made me think of Alice.

For as long as I can remember Alice sat on a table or shelf in our house.  As a little girl I thought Alice looked so lovely sitting there in her blue dress with her blonde hair, engrossed in reading her book.  I imagined myself as Alice because I too had blonde hair and I loved to read (although I rarely wore dresses).  But the best thing about Alice was that if you looked closely you could actually see what was on the open pages of her book – a drawing of a walrus and these words:

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,

And that’s where it ended.  I had no idea what this piece of writing was, no idea that it was a snippet of a poem by Lewis Carroll but I always wished that I could turn the page and keep reading.  Now, looking at it, I know that the last line of that final stanza on the page is missing – “We can begin to feed”.  I have no recollection of whether or not I could sense that that last rhyming bit was not there but I really wanted to know what came next.

Alice always remained my favourite of all my mother’s Royal Doulton figurines.  Looking at her as an adult brought back the memory of how I felt about her as a child and I was always intrigued that so many words could fit on such a tiny page! 

And then one day a couple of years ago my mother came to visit me and brought Alice with her.  She said she knew how much I had loved her when I was little and that I could keep her now.  I was thrilled but in some ways having Alice is also a bittersweet thing because it reminds me of the passage of time.  It makes me think of the fact that my mother's life is winding down because she's started to pass on those things that were precious to her for so many years.

Still, I’m happy to see Alice sitting on my dresser although I have to admit that when I look at her book the words are so small that I can barely read them anymore – even with my glasses - another reminder of how much time has passed since I fell in love with Alice.  Oh, and I still wonder why that last line is missing…

And that’s my story of one of my precious things.  There are lots more stories about lots of precious things linked up on Sian’s blog, so go and have a look...

Until next time...
Susan :-)


  1. Hi Susan, what a pleasure it is to have you join us with your precious today. And she is so very lovely..I can almost feel her cool, smoothness in my hand. You have struck a chord with me too..every time I go to visit my Mum now she has something else ready to give me. I feel the same way you do..
    Thank you for sharing your treasure today

  2. Great photo Susan. The lighting is perfect. It casts a shadow. I had to do a double take, I thought it was you as a little girl at first. dbnl

  3. Loved reading your story Susan. I never really knew how much she meant to you. I do remember the small words on that tiny page though. Love the photo too!

  4. a lovely story and a lovely precious piece to have.

  5. I am happy your mother gave Alice to you. She delighted you as a child and will continue to delight you as an adult.

  6. That photo is lovely - as is Alice, my parents are decluttering and giving things away. Bittersweet isn't it? I'm glad you have Alice and the reminder of the stories and your Mother.

  7. oh that poem! My father taught it to me when I was about five and it became our party piece for several years we alternated lines and people would clap and cheer when we were done. He did the same with my daughter too. Perhaps that's what gave us both the urge to

  8. There is something extraordinary about the continuity of life and how precious things have played a part in it. It's lovely that your mum gave Alice to you and reminds you of your childhood. I read that poem to my grandchildren recently. Well, I say read... I didn't get past the first verse as they wanted to know about sealing wax and boiling hot sea!

  9. I wanted to reach through the screen and touch her - she looks so smooth and delicate. I've enjoyed your recollection today.

  10. That is a lovely story and Alice is so beautiful.

  11. I love your Alice. I have always loved that poem. My dream is to have a crazy mad hatters tea party for my 40's birthday. With fancy dress, odd tableware, crazy food and drinks, decorations that make you wonder why, and all sorts! I have even begun pinning pictures that inspire my theme and bought my dress pattern. Did I mention that it is still a few years away??? My friends think I am nuts :-)


Thanks! I appreciate your comments.