Thursday, August 07, 2008

a girl and her father

While vacationing in Madison I spent a quarter to buy a copy of Neil Gaiman's Coraline at Saint Vinnie's on Willy Street. As the book comes to a close the title character heroically takes on a final Herculean challenge and in doing so uses trickery worthy of Odysseus himself to rid the world of the witch's disembodied hand which pursues her. She has learned about bravery from her sweet-natured, absent-minded dad and she thinks of him while she tries to keep up her nerve. Gaiman writes:
She tried to whistle, but nothing happened, so she sang out loud instead, a song her father had made up for her when she was a little baby and which had always made her laugh. It went,
Oh --- my twitchy witchy girl
I think you are so nice,
I give you bowls of porridge
And I give you bowls of ice
I give you lots of kisses,
And I give you lots of hugs,
But I never give you sandwiches
With bugs
That was what she sang as she sauntered through the woods, and her voice hardly trembled at all. (pp. 156-57)

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