Thursday, 7 March 2013

Rupert, childhood bear

Rupert, the bear under my brother's bed.

WHOEVER heard of Rupert these days? But this bear was in a wooden box below my brother's bed. Rupert Annual 1957, nestled there with other delightful glossy picture books such as Walt Disney's Snow White, Lady and the Tramp and tattered ones like Tom Brown's School Days, Reader's Digest -- and one  book on Christian stories, hardcover bound with blue cloth, stitched binding. Oh yes, there was a hardcover Noddy too by Enid Blyton -- the one about him camping with his good friend and woke up in the middle of the night and saw stars because their tent had been blown away.

But it was the Rupert Annual which I read over and over again. I liked the whimsical drawings and the fantasy of the bear's exploration with his friends. The Pine Ogre was one of the most frightening figures in my childhood and I had quite a few nightmares of him chasing me with his tall cone-shaped hat (think pines).

So, I scoured the Internet and there were two copies (facsimile) left in Amazon. One of the copies is now with me. Think I may give it to my brother as a birthday present in May. I wonder if he still remembers it.

I can't close this chapter without mentioning the little blue book on Christian tales. They were not biblical tales retold in a simple way, but stories fleshing out the values of Christianity. The water colour drawings were wonderfully done with a whimsical touch. One story I remember was that of a little boy given a new sweater by his mum. He thanked his mum, but his mum explained that he must thank the factory for making it. So he thanked the factory boss who said he must thank the sheep which provided the wool. So the little boy went to cuddle some sheep to thank them. One sheep said, you must thank God for that I am around to produce the wool. So the little boy thanked God.

Then, there was a water colour drawing of a beautiful fountain in a garden, with birds drinking its water. Can't really remember the story, but I think it has something to do with appreciating the beauty around us and that God cares and provides -- and little birds are well taken care of.

And I must mention one of the tales in a copy of Reader's Digest which was so very moving and sad. It was a Digest feature -- The Triumph of Janis Babson. She was a brave, tiny girl stricken with leukemia (that was when I first knew about the disease) who donated her corneas -- her own wish, not her parents'. 

No comments: