Hello! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood blogger who hasn’t posted in a month. This was an unplanned blogging break. The semester’s coursework got heavy as did some fun work for the Book Cougars (check out our latest episode). And, honestly, when I’ve had the time to write, I preferred to use that time to escape into a good book. I know anyone reading this blog can relate to that.
My absence meant that the deadline for last month’s Willa Cather short story reply post went whooshing by. I did read “Wee Winkie’s Wanderings.” Twice, in fact. I enjoyed it. Did you?
It’s a charming story of a young child who is having a bad day and decides to run away from home. Mom knows Wee Winkie needs a nap, but when her daughter resists and says she’s going to run away from home, mom decides today is the day to call her daughter’s bluff. Wee Winkie is taken aback by the lack of resistance and is soon on her way down the road. Mom watches from the window and you’ll have to read the story for yourself to see how it ends.
I’ve been reading children’s picture books this year and recently read The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown. It was interesting to see how differently each mom handles their runaway child. They’re different situations with different temperaments and the target audience are probably different age groups.
It was a fun reading synchronicity. For me, there is a bit of a creepy under-vibe in The Runaway Bunny. It was if the little bunny would never get away from its mother. I much prefer the mom in “Wee Winkie’s Wanderings.” She is loving, understands her child, but knows some lessons need to be learned first hand. It is a bitter sweet story. There is no “I told you so.”
April story reminder
This post will also serve as the reminder post for our story this month, which is “The Strategy of the Were-Wolf Dog.” This is another story for children. It was first published in the December 1896 edition of The Home Monthly. You can read it over on the Willa Cather Archive: https://cather.unl.edu/writings/shortfiction/ss032.
I have not read this story, but the title intrigues me. A glance at the first paragraph reveals that it involves Santa Claus. What a surprise! Santa Claus and a Were-wolf dog sound like quite the combination. Here’s the opening paragraph:
THIS is a tale of the bleak, bitter Northland, where the frost is eternal and the snows never melt, where the wide white plains stretch for miles and miles without a tree or shrub, where the Heavens at night are made terribly beautiful by the trembling flashes of the Northern lights, and the green icebergs float in stately grandeur down the dark currents of the hungry polar sea. It is a desolate region, where there is no spring, and even in the short summers only a few stunted willows blossom and grow green along the rocky channels through which the melting snow water runs clear and cold. The only cheerful thing about all this country is that far up within the Arctic circle, just on the edge of the boundless snow plains, there is a big house of gray stone, where the lights shine all the year round from the windows, and the wide halls are warmed by blazing fires. For this is the house of his beloved Saintship, Nicholas, whom the children the world over call Santa Claus.Keep reading on the Willa Cather Archive
What do you think?
What did you think about “Wee Winkie’s Wanderings”? Did you appreciate the story or did it leave you feeling blah? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let’s chat in the comments below.
Read “The Strategy of the Were-Wolf Dog” sometime this month and then come back to discuss it on the response post I’ll share on April 27th, the fourth Wednesday of the month. (I promise not to go AWOL again…at least not any time soon). Or, feel free to read it now and comment here if you can’t wait until then!
New to this blog? Learn more about the Willa Cather Short Story Project here. In a nutshell, we’re reading one Cather short story a month. I remind everyone of what story we’re reading on the second Wednesday of the month and then share a response on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Jump in anytime!