Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Earthquake in a Children's Book

from Paddington Here and Now, by Michael Bond

Taking a deep breath, the interviewer reached for his eraser. "This Aunt Lucy of yours," he continued. "Can you tell me more about her?"

"Well," said Paddington, "she's very wise. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here at all. Besides, she taught me all I know."

"Perhaps you could let me have her address," said the man. "I'd like to take her on board and make her part of my team. She sounds like just the kind of person we're looking for."

"I don't think that would be very easy," said Paddington. "She's living in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. Besides, she doesn't play any ball games."

The interviewer gave Paddington a glassy stare as he reached for his eraser again...."I suppose," he continued, trying another tack, since your Aunt Lucy is in a home, she's ... er ... I mean, is there an uncle by any chance?"

"Oh, yes," said Paddington. "Uncle Pastuzo. But we haven't seen him since the earthquake."

"You mean you're an earthquake victim?" The man's pen fairly raced across the page. "Tell me more."

"Well," said Paddington, "there's not much to tell. I was fast asleep in a tree at the time. There was a loud rumble, and the earth began to shake. When I woke up everything looked different. Everyone else apart from Aunt Lucy had disappeared."

"Even your Uncle Pastuzo?" said the interviewer.

"Especially Uncle Pastuzo," said Paddington. "I think he must have known it was going to happen, because he went out early that day. But he left his old hat and a suitcase with a secret compartment behind, along with a note to say I could have them if anything happened to him."

"And you have never heard any more of him since?"

Paddington shook his head sadly. "That's why Aunt Lucy brought me up."

Here's an unexpected earthquake spotting in The Trumpet of the Swan.

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