The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies--swashbuckling action, revenge, danger, romance, magic, derring-do, white horses and such as the stuff a little girl's dreams are made of. One of the things that has kept my interest in the movie is the fact that this is the depiction of a story being read to a young boy by his grandfather. The boy was sick enough to have to stay home from school and Grandpa came over to read to him and entertain him a bit so that the day wouldn't be so long for him.
I mentioned in my first post that I came home from the first day of school crying because they didn't teach me how to read. This wasn't just something I made up to make that post more humorous, it is true. Books were an integral part of my home life and once I learned how to read, I read anything and everything I could--from the cereal boxes to any book I could get my hands on.
Gilliland Strickland wrote a poem that often has the last stanza quoted, but I think it's worth a full copy here:
The Reading Mother
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be-
I had a Mother who read to me.