fredag 5 april 2013
The Magic Pudding
En av de första dagarna i Melbourne, när jag besökte Botaniska trädgården, hittade jag den här fina barnboken. Jag blev genast helt betagen. Varje kväll har jag läst en liten bit som godnattsaga. Igår kväll hade jag tyvärr kommit till slutet. Det är en helt galen berättelse, med ett underbart språk, som vrids och vänds i filosofiska funderingar. När personerna kommit på något viktigt, uttrycker de sig i roliga, märkliga, smått fantastiska verser.
I barnens avdelning av Botaniska trädgården fanns en skulpturgrupp med figurerna från boken, så jag förstod att boken är en älskad del av den australiensiska barnkulturen.
Boken har fyra kapitel, uttryckt som "slices", det handlar ju om en pudding.
"This is a frontways view of Bunyip Bluegum and his Uncle Whattleberry. At a glance you can see what a fine, round, splendid fellow Bunyip Bluegum is, without me telling you. At a second glance you can see that Uncle is more square than round, and that his face has whiskers on it.
Whiskers alone are bad enough
Attached to faces coarse and rough
But how much greater their offence is
When stuck on Uncles' countenances.
The plain truth was that Bunyip and his Uncle lived in a small house in a tree, and there was no room for the whiskers. What was worse, the whiskers were red, and they blew about in the wind, and Uncle Wattleberry would insist on bringing them to the dinner table with him, where they got in the soup.
Bunyip Bluegum was a tidy bear, and objected to whisker soup, so he was forced to eat his meals outside, which was awkward, and besides, lizards came and borrowed his soup."
"Prayers and entreaties to remove the whiskers being of no avail, Bunuip decided to leave home without more ado. The trouble was that he couldn't make up his mind whether to be a Traveller or a Swagman. You can't go about in the world being nothing, but if you are a traveller you have to carry a bag, while if you are a swagman you have to carry a swag, and the question is: Which is the heavier?"