The morning after BlogHer and WoolfCamp, I spent some time in bed with Moomin reading to me from a comic-book edition of Tarzan illustrated by Burne Hogarth. I love to hear his dramatic readings of purple prose; he sounds like an old-time radio announcer or a voiceover on a 70s superhero cartoon. This is probablly not an accident since I do play old radio Lone Ranger episodes (downloaded) and Rook watches a ton of cartoons off Netflix with him.
So it’s 7:30 am and I’m in the bottom bunk, curled up with a ton of stuffed animals, hearing:
As he drew the taut bowstring, the great cat sprang. The silvered missile leaped to meet her in mid-air. As quickly as Sabor hit the ground, Tarzan whirled and sank another shaft, and a third… lightninglike, struck her in the eye. In a screaming rage the onrushing body bore him down; but even as he fell, his powerful knife struck again and again before he realized his mighty adversary was dead.
A wave of exultation swept over Tarzan of the Apes.
I like to think that he is getting excellent lessons in prose style from this. Am I wrong? And will he like the Odyssey? I think so! It’s not far off!
“Mom, this is not cool. Not Cool. NOT COOL. It is CUTE.”
“But it’s still cool! It’s a dinosaur reading a book, for God’s sake! Look, I’m putting one on my backpack.”
“It is cute. It’s smiling. It is not MIGHTY.”
“How do you know? You can be mighty and still smile.”
“A mighty dinosaur does not know how to smile. It’s always stomping on things.”
“It might smile after it had a really really good day stomping on cities and eating people and fighting with other dinosaurs. It would be so happy and relaxed, afterwards, that it might smile and read a good book. It could be mighty sometimes and happy at others.”
“No. And I will tell you why. Mighty dinosaurs were before cities and people! Mom! You know that!”
“Yes… I did… just seeing if you were on your toes.”
If this makes us seem too fight-and-might obsessed… He is also strangely concerned with how he’s going to grow up and save manatees from motorboats. I’m not sure why manatees rather than something smaller and cuter – maybe because they’re huge and yet helpless, and they eat cabbages.