Saturday, September 19, 2009

Picture Books Ahoy!

Was anyone else treated, as a child, to The Story of Horace? I was thinking about it the other day as my proposed beartattoo is not unlike the illustration of Horace. It's a picture book from the '30s or thereabouts, and it is possibly the best children's book ever. I looked it up on the Internet, which is what you do for EVERYTHING and how my mother accidentally found out about felching (don't Google it, you're better off not knowing). Anyway let's not get into that, here's how the book went.

"Once upon a time there was a family who all lived together in a little house in a wood.
There was: GREAT-GRANDPA, GREAT-GRANDMA, GRANDPA, GRANDMA, PA, MA, PAUL and little LULU.

And with them lived HORACE. HORACE was a BEAR!

One day Pa went out hunting.

And on the way back, he was met by GREAT-GRANDMA, GRANDPA, GRANDMA, MA, PAUL and little LULU.

And they all said, "What do you think has happened?"

And Pa said, "What HAS happened?"
And they said;- "Horace has eaten GREAT-GRANDPA!"
And Pa was just WILD, and he said, "I will KILL Horace!" But they all took on so, he hadn't the heart to do it.

And the next day Pa went out hunting.

And on the way back, he was met by GRANDPA, GRANDMA, MA, PAUL and little LULU.

And they all said, "What do you think has happened?"

And Pa said, "What HAS happened?"
And they said;- "Horace has eaten GREAT-GRANDMA!"
And Pa was just WILD, and he said, "I will KILL Horace!
But they all took on so, he hadn't the heart to do it."

It continues in that vein for a while, with Horace steadily eating his way through the family and yet avoiding death through everyone else 'taking on' on his behalf, until the family is very small indeed, and the inevitable happens:

"And the next day Pa went out hunting.
And on the way back he was met by little LULU.
And little Lulu said, "What do you think has happened?"
And Pa said "WHAT HAS HAPPENED?"

And little Lulu said:- "Horace has eaten PAUL!"

And Pa was just WILD, and he said, "I WILL KILL HORACE!"
But little Lulu took on so, he hadn't the heart to do it.

And the next day Pa went out hunting.

And on the way back he was met by HORACE!
And Horace said, "What do you think has happened?"
And Pa said, "WHAT HAS HAPPENED?"

And Horace said- "I have eaten LITTLE LULU!"

And Pa was just WILD, and he said, "I will kill you, Horace"!
But HORACE took on so he hadn't the heart to do it.

* * *

The next day, HORACE went out hunting."


On the last page was a picture of a headstone that read, "In memory of GREAT-GRANDPA, GREAT-GRANDMA, GRANDPA, GRANDMA, PA, MA, PAUL and little LULU. - erected by their loving HORACE." and a bear walking away from the headstone and grinning back over his shoulder, and that is sort of what my proposed bear tattoo reminds me of.

It's a lot easier to understand me when you understand that I pretty much base my life around the moral lessons Horace taught me in early childhood i.e. if you are charming enough you can eventually eat everyone.

(Speaking of recalled picture books, did anyone else read Little Black Sambo as a child? That was a good 'un. I liked the bit where he tricked the tigers into catching onto each other's tails and chasing around the tree until they melted and turned into ghee, which LBS took home and gave to his mother, Black Mumbo, who used it to cook delicious pancakes for LBS and his father, Black Jumbo, and they all had a delicious breakfast.)

8 comments:

James said...

Yes! I vaguely remember Little Black Sambo.

Was that post title a nod to International Talk Like A Pirate Day? (Which happens to be Sept. 19th)

Juli Ryan said...

Little Black Sambo is now "The Boy and the Tigers". It is still awesome.

Juli Ryan said...

LBS is now called Little Rajani, his dad is Kapaali and his mum is Ramita.

Sandy said...

Woah! I can't believe I missed such an amazing story. I must have had a very bereft childhood.
Horace must now become my role model too!

Ashley Louise said...

Best child's story ever. I like.

My grandparents live in Oregon and when I was a kid there was a restraunt called Little Black Sambo's in the town next to theirs.. They were a pancake restraunt and were eventually shut down for being politically incorrect. It's sad because they had some friggin awesome pancakes. I miss their pancakes. They also sold the book.

Tennyson ee Hemingway said...

I actually still have a copy of Little Black Sambo at home.

otherworldlyone said...

I've never heard of that one. I'm pretty sure if I read that to my kid, she'll be freaking out. She's already afraid of bears and wolves for some strange reason...it's not like she's run into any.

IT IS ALLY said...

James - whoops, no! I accidentally pirated. Which is a shame as I don't really support ITLAPD

Juli - Hahaha! I'm really glad it stayed around, albeit in a slightly more PC format.

Sandy - Horace should be everyone's role model. I think.

Ashley Louise - they should reopen as Little Rajani's.

Tenny - We still have Horace! They are probably collectables by now.

otherworldly - But he was blatantly lovable. That was his charm, you didn't mind that he ate everyone