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Sun, 08 Mar 2009
Here is a little snippet of the Princess of China, a beautiful childrens story from Eleanor Farjeon

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As you can see I have been back to Wikipeadia checking up on the author of this little tale I am about to tell you. I had forgotten all about her, and it was only when Peter brought me home this book all about her that I remembered some of her wonderful works. Here you go then a wondeful story by Miss Eleanor Farjeon called:-

The Princess of China

You must know that while the children had their supper, the Old Nurse did a bit of darning; her stocking-basket was always full of the four children's stockings, with holes in the toes and heels, and even in the knees. And the Old Nurse would fish out a pair by chance, and draw it down over her left hand, and turn it this way and that, looking for a hole. And then while she threaded her darning-needle with the right worsted, she would fish about in her memory for a tale to fit the hole, and when the hole was finished then the tale was done. The children always watched anxiously when she was looking at the stocking for the hole in it, because a little hole only meant a little story, and a big hole meant a longer one.

'Here's a tiny hole!' aid the Old Nurse, picking out Mary Matilda's little sock. 'Just a speck in the toe, and nothing more. But what would you expect of a baby, with a foot no bigger than that of the Princess of China?'

        I was nurse to the Princess of China before  England was old enough to know it had a name. I had been nurse before that to her mother, the Queen, who was now a widow. The Princess was the tiniest and most enchanting litle creature in the world - as light as a butterfly, and as fragile as glass. A silver spoonful of rice made a big meal for her, and when she said, 'Oh Nanny, I am so thirsty!' I would fill my thimble with milk and give it to her to drink; and then she left half of it. I made up her bed in my work-box,and cut my pocket handkerchief in half two for a pair of sheets. Her laugh was like the tinkle of a raindrop falling on a glass bell. Really when we went out walking I was afraid of losing her! So I slipped her into my purse, and left it open, and carried her like that. And as we walked through the streets of Peking, she would peep out of the purse and say, 'What a lot of people there are in the world, Nanny!' But when we walked in the rice fieds, and she saw the butterflies at play, she cried, "Oh Nanny! who are all  those darling litle people, and why do they never come to to see me in the palace?'
          One day there came a message to the Queen of China that the Emperor of Tartary was coming to marry her daughter and when the Princess was
told the news, she never stopped asking me a string of little questions 'Where is Tartary Nanny? Will I like Tartary? Are the people little there, or big? What is the Emperor like? Will I like him? Is he very enormous? Is he nice and tiny? What will be his wear?
       I couldn't answer most of her questions, but when she cme to the last one, I said, 'He'll wear purple, pet, like every other Emperor.'
     'Purple!' she said. 'How pretty! Now I shall know him when I see him, my pretty little purple Emperor!' and the Princess of China clapped her  tiny hands.
Posted 12:49

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