strategies  |   help  |   resources  |   opal  |   intersect
Chapter 8
How Opal Takes a Walk in the Forest of Chantilly; she Visits Elsie and her Baby Boy, and Explains Many Things to the Girl that Has no Seeing

Table of Contents  |   picturebook  |  map  |   timeline  |   characters  |   glossary
  While I did watch the horses, the baby had wake-ups . I went to sing her to sleep. I sang her about William Wordsworth. When sleeps was come upon the baby I had remembers when she went away the mamma wished she did have some varnish to shine up the furniture with. So while she is gone I have given the furniture a shine-up with Vaseline. Vaseline gives just as bright a shine as varnish does. I have aunt tis a pay shuns the mamma will be pleased when her arrives come home. 115 }
  When the furniture was all fixed proper, I looked a look out the window. Raindrops were beginning to come down from the sky. Their coming was in a gentle way. I had longs to be out with them. I so do like to feel the raindrops patter on my head and I like to run runs and hold out my hands to meet them. There was more rain and there was sunshine. There came across the sky the arc-en-ciel. Then was its going, and grayness after. I watched the raindrops in the brook going on and on. When I grow up I am going to write a book about a raindrop's journey. 116 }
  While I did watch the raindrops I had longs to go to the forêt de Chantilly and adown by Nonette. I did have thinks more about it. I took some of the wood out of the woodbox. I stood it up for trees. I called them all forêt de Chantilly. We went a walk between them -- Lucian Horace Ovid Virgil and I did. Then I took the dipper full of water and I let it pour in little pours a rivière on the kitchen floor. That was for Nonette. Then all of us went a walk by Nonette. We went in little steps to make the time go longer. Felix Mendelssohn perched on my shoulder. Louis II, le Grand Condé , did ride in my hands, and Nannerl Mozart in my apron pocket. I took some more water and the dipper and I made it go a little rivière to join Nonette. Then we went a walk by Lounette. And more I did pour in little pours to join Nonette. That was for Aunette. 117 }
  After we did have walks all in between the forêt de Chantilly, I took more sticks from the woodbox back of the stove and I made another forêt. Then we went walking in the forêt d'Ermenonville. When we were come back from that walk, I made some lions out of cheese. Two I made. I made them to put in forêt de Chantilly at the begins of route du Connétable. Then we went a walk again in forêt de Chantilly. I had to have carefuls not to go a step too big, because I did stand the sticks of wood near unto one another, and if I took a big step they might have falls over. 118 }
  While I was standing up more sticks of woods for more trees in forêt de Chantilly, the baby did have wake-ups . I went to sing it to sleep. I sang it about Good King Edward I. When I went again into the kitchen, there was Louis II, le Grand Condé , and Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mozart all in the forêt de Chantilly. They were at the begins of the route du Connétable. They were nibbling nibbles at the two lions there of cheese. Already they did have ragged noses, where all of the three mouses did nibble nibbles. I have thinks I will have to make lions of stone for the begins of route du Connétable. The baby had wakes-up again. I did sing it to sleep with chant d'automne. 119 }
  Now I sit here and I print. the baby sleeps on. The wind comes creeping in under the door. It calls, "Come, come, petite Françoise , come." It calls to me to come go exploring. It sings of the things that are to be found under leaves. It whispers the dreams of the tall fir trees. It does pipe the gentle song the forest sings on gray days. I hear all the voices calling me. I listen -- but I cannot go. 120 }
  Now are come the days of brown leaves. They fall from the trees. They flutter on the ground. When the brown leaves flutter, they are saying little things. They talk with the wind. I hear them tell of their borning days when they did come into the world as leaves. And they whisper of the hoods they wore then. I saw them. I use to count them on the way to school . 121 }
  Today they were talking of the time before their borning day s of this springtime. They talked on and on, and I did listen on to what they were telling the wind and the earth in their whisperings. They told how they were a part of earth and air before their tree-borning days. And now they are going back. In gray days of winter they go back to the earth again. But they do not die. And in the morning of today it was that I did listen to these talkings of the brown leaves. 122 }
  Then I faced about. I turned my face and all of me to the way that leads to the house we live in , for there was much works to be done. When I was come to the house I went around and I did walk in the back doorway. The mamma wasn't in. I took long looks about to see what works I best do first. 123 }
  There was washed-up dishes in a bake-pan, so I did dishtowel them all and put them away. There was needs to climb upon a chair and upon a box, to put those dishes where they ought to be put. While I was up there, I took looks about to see what there was. I saw a cake of bon ami. Bon ami is to give things a shine-up. And this morning I gave the knives a shine-up and the forks too. Then I tried bon ami on the black kettles and the bakepans. It did not give unto them such nice appears , so I gave them a shine-up with Vaseline. 124 }
  After that I did take the broom from its place, and I gave the floor a good brooming . I broomed the boards up and down and cross-ways. There was not a speck of dirt on them left. What I did sweep off with the broom, I did place into a shoe-box lid and dust it in the stove . Then the floor did look clean like the mamma does say it ought to look all the time. I put the broom back in its place where the mamma does say it ought to be. 125 }
  Then I did look looks from the floor to the window. I thought I better clean the window too while I was fixing things. Just when I started to put bon ami on the window, I did look out to see what I could see. I saw Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon going in a slow walk by. He was giving his neck a stretch-out. He gave it another one, and when he made a swallow his throat did look appears of croup . And croup does always have needs of being fixed up. So I laid down the bon ami, and I went and I did pour a whole lot of coal-oil down the throat of Agamemnon Menelaus Dindon. That was to make his croup go away. Now he will be feeling well feels real soon. He didn't want to take the coal-oil. I had to hold him tight. Some turkey gobblers can kick most hard. 126 }
  When I did have him fixed I thought I better take looks about to see if any more folks did have croup appears . I yet did have some coal-oil left in the bottle. Few folks were about, and none did have croup looks. So I did go again to the cleaning of the window. When that was done in the proper way the mamma says it ought to be done I did stop to eat some bread and milk, for it was after dinner-time and it was a long time before suppertime. 127 }
  After that I went out in the woodshed where the papa keeps his tools. He keeps them in a big box. Some days he forgets to lock the box. Those days I have very interesting times in the woodshed. There are all kinds of queer-looking things in that tool-box. Just when I did have the lid open the mamma did call. 128 }
  She was come again home, and she sent me back to Elsie's to get the tidy she was crocheting that she did forget and leave there. So I did go the way that does lead to the house of Elsie . It is not far from the house we live in , and Elsie has not been married long. She only has one baby. She has much liking for it. Elsie is a very young girl -- a very young girl to be married, the mamma says. Today when I came to the house of Elsie, she was trotting on her knee that dear baby boy the angels brought her when she did live at the other camp where we did live too. To him she was singing a song. It was:

"Gallop-a-trot, Gallop-a -trot, This is the way the gentlemen ride, Gallop-a-trot."


She tossed her head as she did sing. And the joy-light danced in her eyes. 129 }
  I have thinks it must be wonderful happiness to be married. I have seen the same joy-light in the eyes of her tall young husband. It is there much when he is come home at eventide from work in the woods. Then she does have many kind words and kisses for him. He has adoors for her, and too he has a pumpadoor that he smooths back with vaseline. Why today I did see he had used most all of the Vaseline out of that jar that sets on their kitchen shelf. That Vaseline jar has an interest look. I have been watching it. And every day when I do stand on tiptoe and take peeks at it, there is not so much Vaseline in it as there was in it the day before. I have thinks it does take a goodly amount to keep his pumpadoor smooth. 130 }
  While I was bringing home the tidy the mamma did leave at the house of Elsie , I met a chapine baby. He did sail away. Érable leaves did go in little hops, and so went I. Soon I saw a gray board. I did turn it over. Under that old gray board were five little silk bags. They were white and they did feel lumps. I know baby spiders will come out of them when comes spring days, because last year I found bags like these, and this year in the spring baby spiders walked out. They were very fidgety youngsters. 131 }
  Just when I did most have decides to take them to the nursery , I heard the mamma calling. I put the board back again in the way it was before I came that way. Then I did run a quick run to the house. And the mamma did send me in a hurry to the woodshed . It was for two loads of wood she wanted. I did bring in the first load in a hurry. The second load I brought not so. I did pick up all the sticks my arms could hold. While I was picking them up, I looked long looks at them. I went not to the kitchen with them in a quick way. I was meditating. I did have thinks about the tree they all were before they got chopped up. I did wonder how I would feel if I was a very little piece of wood that got chopped out of a very big tree. I did think that it would have hurt my feelings. I felt of the feelings of the wood. They did have a very sad feel. 132 }
  Just when I was getting that topmost stick a bit wet with sympathy tears -- then the mamma did come up behind me with a switch . She said while she did switch, "Stop your meditations." And while she did switch, I did drop the wood. I felt the feels the sticks of wood felt when they hit the floor. Then I did pick them up with care and I put them all in the wood-box back of the cook-stove . I put them there because the mamma said I must put them there. But all the time I was churning I did hum a little song. It was a good-bye song to the sticks in the woodbox back of the kitchen stove. 133 }
  When the churning was done and the butter was come, the mamma did lift all the little lumps of butter out of the churn. Then she did pat them together in a big lump, and this she put away in the butterbox in the woodshed . When she went to lay herself down to rest on the bed, she did call me to rub her head. I like to rub the mamma's head for it does help the worry lines to go away. Often I rub her head, for it is often she does have longings to have it so. And I do think it is very nice to help people have what they do have longings for. 134 }
  By-and-by, when the mamma did have sleeps and after I did print, I did go to listen to the voices. The wind was calling. His calling was to little woodfolk and me. He did call more again "Come, petite Françoise , come go explores." He was in a rush. I raced. Brave Horatius ran. We played tag with the wind. The wind does have many things to tell. He does toss back one's curls so he can whisper things in one's ears. Today he did twice push back my curls three times, that I might better hear what he did have to say. He whispered little whispers about the cradles of moths to be that hang a-swinging on the bushes in the woods. I went around to see about it. I looked looks on many bushes. Some brown leaves were swinging from some bushes. No cradles I found. 135 }
Follow One Character By-and-by I came to a log. It was a nice little log. It was as long as three pigs as long as Peter Paul Rubens . I climbed upon it. I so did to look more looks about. The wind did blow in a real quick way. He made music all around. I danced on the log. It is so much a big amount of joy to dance on a log when the wind does play the harps in the forest. Then do I dance on tiptoe. I wave greetings to the plant-bush folks that do dance all about. Today a grand pine tree did wave its arms to me. And the bush branches patted my cheek in a friendly way. The wind again did blow back my curls. They clasp the fingers of the bush people most near . I did turn around to untangle them. It is most difficult to dance on tiptoe on a log when one's curls are in a tangle with the branches of a friendly bush that grows near unto the log and does make bows to one while the wind doth blow. 136 }
  When I did turn to untangle my curls, I saw a silken cradle in a hazel branch. I have thinks that the wind did just tangle my curls so I would have seeing of that cradle. It was cream, with a hazel leaf half-way round it. I put it to my ear and I did listen. It had a little voice. It was not a tone voice. It was a heart voice. While I did listen, I did feel its feels. It has lovely ones. 137 }
  And I did hurry away in the way that does lead to the house of the girl that has no seeing. I went that way so she too might know its feels and hear its heart voice. She does so like to feel things. She has seeing by feels. Often I do carry things to her when I find them and she knows some of my friends. Peter Paul Rubens has gone with me to visit her. So has gone Felix Mendelssohn and Nannerl Mozart -- the two mices with voices that squeak mouse-songs in the night. And Plato and Pliny , the two bats, and others go too. And their goings and what she has thinks about them I have printed here in my prints. And it is often I go the way that does lead to her house, for the girl who has no seeing -- she and I -- we are friends. 138 }
  One day I told her about the trees talking. Then she did want to know about the voices, and now I do help her to hear them. And too I tell her about comparer, that Angel Father did teach me to play, and I show her the way. She cannot look long looks at things, to see how they look not looks alike, because she has no seeing. So she is learning to play comparer by feels. 139 }
  Today, after she did feel the feels of the cream cradle and we did play comparer, then she asked me what the trees were saying. And I led her out across her yard and away to the woods, and Brave Horatius did follow after. I led her in the way that does lead to that grand fir tree, Good King Louis VI . And when we were come unto him, I did touch his fingertips to her cheeks. She liked that. Then we did stand near unto him, and I told her of the trees in the night, of the things they tell to the shadows that wander through the woods. She said she didn't think she would like to be a shadow. 140 }
  And just then she stubbed her toe. She did ask me what that was there near unto her foot. I told her it was a ville I did build there - - the ville of St. Denis. She wanted to know why I builded it there. I told her there was needs of it, being near unto Good King Louis VI , for he so loved it; so I builded it there where his branches shelter it and his kindness looks kind looks upon it. And I did tell her about his being on his way to St. Denis when he died. While I builded up again the corner of the abbey, I did give explanations about how lovely it is to be a gray shadow walking along and touching the faces of people. Shadows do have such velvety fingers. 141 }
  After that we did go on. We went on to where dwell Alan of Bretagne and Étienne of Blois and Godefroi of Bouillon and Raymond of Toulouse . To each I led the girl who has no seeing , and she was glad to know them all. They are grand trees. As we went our way, we did listen unto the voices. And I took all the hairpins that was in her hair out of it. I so did so the wind could blow it back and whisper things into her ears. The wind does have so much to tell of far lands and of little folks that dwell near unto us in the fields and in the woods. 142 }
  Today near eventime I did lead the girl who has no seeing a little way away into the forest, where it was darkness, and shadows were. I led her toward a shadow that was coming our way. It did touch her cheeks with its velvety fingers. And now she too does have likings for shadows. And her fear that was is gone. And after that we turned about to the way that does lead out of the forest. And so we went and I led her again home. We did hurry a bit. We so did because it was most time for her folks to be there. Often she does say I mustn't be there about when her folks are there about. I don't be. 143 }
  At the steps of the door that does go into her house she did tell me good-bye. When she so did, she kissed me on each cheek like she always does. Then I did turn my face to the way that leads to the house we live in . Cloud-ships were sailing over the hills. They were in a hurry. The wind was in a hurry. Brown leaves, little ones and big ones, were hurrying along. I thought I had better get a hurry on me . I did. 144 }
Follow One Character When I was come near unto the barn, I did go in to get Plato and Pliny . I put them in my apron pockets. The barn was rather dark. There were friendly shadows in its corners. When I came out I thought of Peter Paul Rubens . I did have thinks cathedral service would be good for his soul. I went again into the barn to get his little bell that he does always wear around his neck to service, and I did put it on. There was a time when there was no little bell for Peter Paul Rubens to wear to service. That was in the days before one day when I did say to the man that wears gray neckties and is kind to mice "I do have needs of a little bell for Peter Paul Rubens to wear to church." I got it. And Peter Paul Rubens always knows he is going to the cathedral when I put that little bell around his neck. It does make lovely silver tinkles as he goes walking down the aisle to the altar. 145 }
  Tonight so we did go, and too with us was Elizabeth Barrett Browning . When we were come near unto the hospital , I went aside for Thomas Chatterton Jupiter Zeus . In the cathedral the wind and the trees sang a vesper song. And I prayed for quite a time long little prayers and long prayers for the goodness of us all. Peter Paul Rubens did grunt Amen at in-between times. 146 }
  Now I hear the mamma say, "I wonder where Opal is." She has forgets. I'm still under the bed where she did put me quite a time ago. And all this nice long time light is come to here from the lamp on the kitchen table -- light enough so I can print prints. I am happy. I think I better crawl out now and go into the bed for sleeps. 147 }

Chapter Day Scene Paragraph
8 12 20 115


Table of Contents  |  picturebook   |   map  |  timeline   |   characters   |   glossary

strategies  |   help  |   resources  |   opal  |   intersect

back to top



 


SEARCH OPAL'S DIARY:



Project Intersect
http://intersect.uoregon.edu

Copyright ©1999-2000 Center for Electronic Studying, University of Oregon.
Contact us
Last updated: February 6, 2003 .