A tale that is engrained in my being

Snowy day, a good day for nostalgia. When I was about 5, my mom had a couple of friends who had taught in the maritime provinces, and they were wonderful to me. I think the adults who made the strongest impressions on me as a child were the ones who treated me like a person of value worth talking and listening to, rather than ignoring me or sending me off to play. Anne and Barb brought back this story from Labrador, and the imagery evoked by the language, and the captivating illustrations stayed in my memory all my life.

I think part of the appeal is the same as that of The Cremation of Sam McGee, or The Shooting of Dan McGrew. I think storytelling in the form of poetry reminds us of the oral traditions that are common to most cultures. Formatted to be easily remembered and retold, to capture the imagination and draw in the audience.

Borrowed Black makes me think that it is ancient, passed down through generations, but in actuality, it was written by Ellen Bryan Obed in 1944. The illustrations in this version were done by Jan Mogensen. I can’t explain why this stuck with me for so long, why I find it so compelling, but I do, it’s woven in the fabric of my childhood memories. I’d like to share it with you.


~ by Trillian on 11/29/2010.

One Response to “A tale that is engrained in my being”

  1. I think you read it well, it feels like a good story to tell around a campfire.


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