The Prude is already bored with the story format of yesterday’s post. However, in the interests of blogalistic integrity she will finish ‘Little Prude and the Big Hill.” But with a twist. Part II will be told from Papa Prude’s point of view.
Papa Prude, Little Prude and the Big Hill
Papa Prude surveyed his daughter. She was reading a Grace Livingston Hill novel. That made Papa happy. She was reading it practically upside down with her (sunburnt and mosquito bit) legs and (grass stained) feet halfway up the wall. That made him sad. When Papa had first introduced his daughter to the heroines of the GLH books, he did it in the hopes that they would have a positive influence on his child. That they would make her more feminine and ladylike. More genteel. More- unlike her tomboyish and hoydenistic self.
To date Papa Prude had seen little progress in these areas (with the exception of a switch from bright primary–colored nail polish on her gnawed fingernails to a soft shell-pink). He reflected on the attributes of Mrs. Hill’s leading ladies. They were poised and graceful. His little Prude had a tendency to blush and mumble and had been known to trip over objects that were in entirely different rooms. The women that graced Grace’s books were accomplished in the arts. Papa’s Prude, although able to draw endless variations of a happy face, had a tin ear, 2 left feet and an alarming inability to tell her right hand from her left.
Papa grudgingly admitted that there were some areas in which his offspring would never be able to emulate, replicate or duplicate the graces gracing Grace’s pages. Those women were petite and delicate. Prudette had size eight-and-a-half feet by 6th grade, where she towered over her classmates. And the use of ‘delicate’ in conjunction with anything about her would constitute an oxymoron. The only area his daughter out-shone the ladies of the book was her infatuation with modesty. And euphemisms.
One day Little Prude came to her Papa clutching a GLH book in her long-sleeved arms to her buttoned-up sternum. “Papa,” she said sternly. “I can’t be like the women in these books. They are too good. No one can be that good.” To prove her point, she opened the book to a passage on a dog-eared page. Papa winced at this clear violation of book protocol, but wisely decided to choose his battles.
“I know they SEEM too good to be true. But I want to set high ideals for you. I want to give you something to strive for. I want you to have a goal to attain. Prudey, I want you
to reach for the stars!” Papa declared in stirring tones. He glanced at his daughter out of the corner of his eye. She wasn’t buying it. She jabbed her finger at the passage.
“Papa, listen to this part. Sweet Gwendolyn was given a lot of money as a reward for saving the millionaire’s son’s life from the Kaiser’s spies. She gave it all away. Every bit! She kept stumbling over unfortunate-but-pure young women and setting them back on the Road of Virtue. And then when she was going to spend her last few cents on a cup of coffee and a roll, she bumps smack dab into a blind widow with a little lame son who just got kicked out of their home by their evil landlord. And Papa! She gives THEM the last few cents and NEVER GETS HER CUP OF AFTERNOON COFFEE!”
Papa looked in disbelief from his outraged daughter to the book. She DIDN’T GET HER CUP OF COFFEE? What kind of wretched heroine would give up her afternoon cup of coffee? What kind of filth was he exposing his precious child to?
From that day on Papa and The Prude agreed that she would read the books for the sake of a good story, but he would never again use the perverse women therein for role models.
And they lived happily ever after.
HAVE A PLEASANT AND PRUDISH WEEKEND!