Mrs. Vole Quotes in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
“Jeanette, we think you may be having problems at school. Do you want to tell us about them?”
“I’m all right.” I shuffled defensively.
“You do seem rather pre-occupied, shall we say, with God. Your sampler, for instance, had a very disturbing motif. And why did you choose to write about hoopoos and rock badgers in your animal book, and in one case, I believe, shrimps?”
“My mother taught me to read,” I told them.
“Your reading skills are quite unusual, but you haven’t answered my question.”
How could I?
My mother had taught me to read from the Book of Deuteronomy because it is full of animals (mostly unclean). Whenever we read “Thou shall not eat any beast that does not chew the cut or part of the hoof” she drew all the creatures mentioned. Horses, bunnies, and little ducks were vague fabulous things, but I knew all about pelicans, rock badgers, sloths and bats. This tendency towards the exotic has brought me many problems.