life · reading

Dewey’s Readathon. Entry No. 2 – Rewards and Fairies

After reading ‘Cold Iron’, I wished I haven’t read it because there’s Puck of Pook’s Hill, which precedes Rewards and Fairies and which, therefore, should have been read first. On the other hand, had I not read this story, I wouldn’t have known now that I want to read these books. And, maybe, I wouldn’t have known precisely why.

I’m interested to see how much fairy-yarn Kipling wove into these stories. It seems he only sprinkled them, actually, and, if it’s the case, it’s for a good measure. Strangely, even though I find folklore (and myth) very appealing, I don’t read much of it. As if I’m always saving it for later.

‘Cold Iron’ has a particular resonance that makes it very easy to envision. I suppose the same could be said of Rewards and Fairies in general. I’ve read a comment somewhere, that these stories are meant to be heard. Consequently, I was reminded of the times grandmother used to tell us stories and fables – and rather odd ones, to say the least; with people cementing the cracked road with polenta, animals traveling hidden in a rooster’s behind, fox sharing bed and honey with a bear. It’s hilarious. Ridiculously so. What’s even more astonishing to me, now, is that we loved hearing them, especially the one with polenta. “Tell us again the one with polenta!”, was our constant plea… I am absolutely clueless as to why we found it so enchanting and entertaining. Maybe the reasons would come back to me if I’d heard it again.



5 thoughts on “Dewey’s Readathon. Entry No. 2 – Rewards and Fairies

  1. I also have Puck of Pook’s Hill but haven’t read it yet but having not read A Midsummer Night’s Dream yet, I feel I ought to at least go in order. I would love to hear some of your grandmother’s fables as well if you can remember any in sufficient detail.

    1. Try as I may, I can’t remember anything besides these ‘glimpses’ that I mentioned.. I know there was a bucket full of honey in the bear’s house that the fox ate all by herself pretending she was actually giving it as present to new mothers in the neighborhood. Every night she would say someone is calling her to help deliver the baby and she would worry what to take as a gift, and the bear would advise a spoon of honey on a bread crust and she would go and eat it. Of course, her lies are discovered but I can’t remember how it happened.
      I remember one where the fox constantly complained she would fall off the bed so the bear, with whom she was sleeping, eventually fell trying to make space for her. I have no idea what was the point of the fable.

  2. Dear Anna,

    I just discovered your blog about Willa Cather…..and I wanted to thank you for mentioning my artwork for the covers! Most of them were actually done in colored pencils, not watercolor. The later covers were done in oil crayons. I continue to illustrate and paint and you can find my work on my blog, if you’re interested!
    I’ll continue to check your too, as I’m an avid reader.
    best wishes,

    1. Hello Sally,

      what a wonderful surprise! It’s very nice to have you here. Thank you for the clarification on the technique – I will immediately make the necessary corrections in the text.
      I must say again – the covers are marvelous, evocative and powerful in their simplicity.

      I will surely be checking your blog as well. :)
      All the best,

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