The only creativity in evidence today was a couple of notes I made in my notebook about some changes I want to make in some of the pieces I’ve already orchestrated.
Otherwise, I cleaned house and rearranged the kitchen cabinets.
I finished reading Miss Hickory, a Newbery Award winner from the 1940s. A very, very odd book. She’s a doll made with an apple twig for a body and a hickory nut for a head. Very hard-headed she is, a point made repeatedly by Squirrel. She normally lives in a corncob house near the Old House, but the family has up and gone to Boston for the school year, abandoning her.
Through the kindness of several animals (which she barely appreciates), she finds a new home in an old robin’s nest, and the rest of the book concerns itself with inching through the fall and winter months, observing all the animals and Miss Hickory’s interactions with them. She’s a stubborn busybody and not very likable.
Still, it is incredibly shocking when, in the spring, she is forced out of her nest by Robin’s return. Seeking shelter, she goes into what she thinks is Squirrel’s abandoned cleft at the base of the apple tree. He’s there, nearly starving, and after she chides him one too many times for being an idiot, he eats her head. And it keeps talking while he’s eating it!! It sums up her failings for her and finally gives her a taste of her own medicine.
Headless, she climbs back up the apple tree until she comes to a limb with a split in it. She sticks her neck into it, and that’s where the little human girl who abandoned her in the fall finds her, now part of the apple tree as a grafted scion.
Ewww. It’s one of the creepiest endings I’ve ever read.