Email with Alex, reposted here for Spike and Francis:

My children are endlessly hilarious. Claire saw Jeremy reading my copy of T. H. White’s The Age of Scandal and asked “Is that the same author who wrote Stuart Little?” I said “That’s E. B. White but you know what? We’re going to keep you.”

It might have been interesting had they written each other’s books..

(from ‘Charlotte’s Web’ by T.H. White):

‘But how am I to be SOME PIG, Charlotte?’ asked Wilbur. ‘I don’t even think I’m much of a pig now.’

The spider rolled up her struggling prey, a small fruit fly, and meditatively injected it with paralysing venom.

‘You must root, Wilbur,’ she answered, her voice slightly muffled, as the fruit fly thrashed with decreasing vigour. ‘Root, dig and furrow, for it is in your nature to find the deepest and the most buried things. That, at least, is the wisdom as recorded by the best authorities. Spiders kill; pigs root. Excuse me just a moment.’

Charlotte dug her fangs into the fruit fly’s abdomen and sucked the liquefying flesh into her thorax. The fruit fly’s struggles ended, and its many-faceted eyes went a dull slate colour. Charlotte extracted her mandibles and smacked her lips.

‘Delicious,’ she said. ‘I always like a little snack before Vespers. In the meantime, however, I think we need a new word for you.’

‘I wish I could do that,’ said Wilbur wistfully, watching Charlotte dispose of the brittle husk of the fruit fly…

I would do a version of The Once and Future King as if by E.B. White but he’s just not imitable enough. Not by me, anyway.

Wart spent his long afternoons in the wood with his brother Kay, where they fished and fought and listened to the goshawks crying “Cree, cree!” and the frogs in the reeds remarking “Sweet, sweet interlude; sweet interlude.” For it is in the nature of boys in the summer to seek the earth and growing things; to watch the shoots unfurl as the manhood is unfurling within those bony chests. Such summers come but once and are soon over.

‘Well,’ said Templeton, twitching his whiskers, ‘sword or no sword, I’ll be gold-darned if HE’s gonna be king of England.’

Permission to blog this exchange?


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