I think, of all the Roald Dahl books I read as a child, I loved Danny, the Champion of the World the most. Joe says he never much liked Dahl, always felt talked down to, and as a kid resisted books he thought were self-consciously talking to children. I think now he's warming to Danny though.
Listening to bits of pieces of it on the CD we have from the library I still like it. I like the whole set up of a village including the policeman and the vicar and the doctor in a conspiracy against the pompous rich landowner. How the book shows the villagers who poach pheasants are spirited and deft and brave. How their illegal morality trumps Victor Hazell's mantraps and gunfests hands down.
I love the thread there is now between my childhood and Maggie's. Lexy's soon too perhaps. Maggie is seven, and a voracious reader, as I was. Reading binds us. Watching her come to the same books I have been to binds us more. Like she is putting on my old most treasured clothes, but they're miraculously new again, and fit her in new ways.
Maggie has pale skin and green wide spaced eyes. She and Alexandra both have the same band of freckles across the bridge of their nose my brother and I had. And when I think of it, their cousin has it too. My brother's son.
I didn't incidentally enjoy the pheasant. I think I am a culinary wuss. Wild game. I wanted to like it. I approve of it. In my first mouthful I found the shot and felt a bit glamorous and rugged calmly plucking it out. And then the next mouthful it was all tiny annoying bones like a fish, perhaps shattered by the shot or maybe pheasants are delicate like that inside. But it was all too strong for me. It tasted like cooked blood.
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