Monday, December 22, 2014

Ten top fictional feasts in children's books

Christopher William’s Hill’s latest book is The Lily-Livered Prince, book three in his Tales From Schwartzgarten series. At the Guardian he tagged ten top fictional feasts in children's books, including:
Alice Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Caroll

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,

“To talk of many things:

Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax -

Of cabbages - and kings -

And why the sea is boiling hot -

And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,

“Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

And all of us are fat!”

“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.

They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,

“Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

Are very good indeed -

Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,

We can begin to feed.”

I might happily feast on baked hake or star-gazy pie – but oysters? Oysters are a different matter entirely. I’ve always felt sympathy for these poor, unfortunate shellfish ever since I first read the strange and sorry tale of the Walrus and the Carpenter in Lewis Carroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass. You’d need a heart of stone not to be moved by the fat and trusting oysters as they amble along to their peppery and vinegary deaths. In the Sir John Tenniel illustration the oysters have little legs and shoes and somehow this makes their sorry fate all the more tragic. My hard-and-fast rule here? If a creature wears shoes, don’t eat it.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue