Sunday, July 17, 2011

And While We're On The Topic Of Zucchini...

When my sister and I were little children, before we learned to read for ourselves, our parents read to us each evening. A special treat was to be tucked up in our parents' bed, one of us on either side of our mother while she read to us and we enjoyed the pictures. Being pressed against her warm shoulder was a wonderfully contented sensation.

When my Dad read to us, it was very properly on the couch. He often brought home books for us when he was on one of his bookstore shopping sprees. My mother would roll her eyes when she saw him bringing yet more hardbound books into the house, which inevitably had to be jettisoned before each successive Navy move, but he never could resist a bestseller. And when he saw a children's book that he liked, he scooped that up as well.

Mom loved A.A.Milne and Rudyard Kipling; both authors brought an almost British inflection to her voice as she read with very precise diction and lively presentation. She preferred to be called "Mummy" as mothers in those books were. Dad favored books with rhyming texts, such as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Madeline." He always did love rhymes and limericks, quoting them with relish. Ogden Nash was a favorite of his.

The other day, my sister sent me a colorful postcard from North Carolina and, on the reverse, she had copied a little limerick that she found in the Christian Science Monitor. Reading it was Proustian for me - I was carried back to those days when my parents read to us. Nancy seems to have absorbed the love of rhyming from them, too.

Zucchini, by Ann Carranza

Consider the humble zucchini,
Some huge and others quite teeny.
Try some of both
And never be loath
To serve them with fresh tortellini.

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Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

We ate quite a bit of zucchini while in Italy! Very popular vegetable.
(I still call my mum, mummy, from time to time).

Sunday, July 17, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

That's charming. Cranky actually did call his mother mummy, until she died. Her parents were from England, and that's the term she was raised with.
I, on the other hand, occasionally called my mother ma, and she hated it!
(Anything to avoid talking about zucchini here...)

Sunday, July 17, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, I'll bet she loves it, too.

Cookiecrumb, my mother hated "Ma," too. You don't like zucchini???

Monday, July 18, 2011  
Blogger Ms Brown Mouse said...

From the day I got my driving licence (same day I got a proper job) I've also called my mum "joan" because I couldn't be shouting "mum" across the office :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Ms Mouse, I sometimes called my mother "Daisy," which she pooh-poohed, but secretly enjoyed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Oh, zucchini is fine, but this time of year it is like an anaconda, waiting to choke you! :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, yes, one minute it's petite and delicate and the next minute it's a baseball bat.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011  

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