“Pajaro-cu-cu”, today I read this book to Fiona, this old book from my childhood, one of my favorites. I wonder, how did it even survive this long? It’s a book of “Animal Rhymes from Many Lands”, illustrated beautifully with what looks like monoprints. The book was published in 1967, this is the copy I have. We get to a page that has been torn out. The poem beside the missing page is about a horse. I tell Fiona I probably ripped it out when I was a little girl because I loved horses. She asked me “where is it now?” I wondered, where could it be? The ripped-out page of the horse from my childhood book. “Probably was thrown away” I say. Or in a box somewhere hidden away, lost and forgotten. It’s not here, it’s not in my house. I didn’t save it or protect it. Maybe it was left outside in the rain, in the mud. I am surprised at the language used in this book. It’s complicated and rich. It’s diverse and fun. Fiona and I carefully dissect the sentences. It’s especially challenging for Fiona because of her hearing loss. It’s difficult to put the words in context because they are such unusual combinations and ordering of words.
Fox with his sack is on a jog;
He’s taking cabbages to Prague.
Hare, quick before they’re out of sight, Pursues that sack rich with delight-
One for hedgehog, one his own-
He quivers at the thought alone.
Then sly fox speaks, his tail goes flick!
“Come over near, and take your pick.”
Fiona was so tired and not feeling well she went to sleep after this. She hasn’t taken a nap in a long time. Jack is sleeping too. I haven’t been into my studio in too long. I’ve been so busy finishing up my book and setting up my solo show on the days I had a babysitter and the rest of the days the babies have been underfoot, especially Fiona. They haven’t felt well and that’s always tough. I hear one waking now. It feels dark and gloomy today. I need more Pajaro- cu-cu!