My mother read this book to me when I was a little boy. I went decades without it, and a few years ago when I started dating Nicole, we got to talking about books and I mentioned it. She found it on eBay (I think it was) and bought it for me, surprising me with it, and now it’s about three years later and I read it most every night to Erica before bed.
More and more lately, I haven’t been able to do very much reading; I would happily read the story to her, assuming the voices and mannerisms of each character (a whole group of Sesame Street icons, a witch and a talking tree), and really giving it every I had so that she’d enjoy it. Only these days, she likes to do the reading.
She begins by reading the witch’s lines, and then (when he makes his entrance) those of Cookie himself. Left performing only that of the talking (and magic) tree, I watch her do every character in the book until (toward the end she takes the tree’s lines as well) I’m really reading only the narrative, and struck by how grown she really has become. It breaks my heart, she’s so beautiful and perfect a little person.
Though it seems unlikely a feat, it’s more memorization than actual reading. But all the same, it occurs to me that the time is going to come sooner than I’d like that she’s going to want to put this book aside and read something else. Maybe even without me… and then I’ll slink back away to my comic books and begin the process of becoming bitter at the world…
I guess I’m really just thinking out loud now… jerks.