My brother’s birth relegated me to the lowest rank of my family: not worthy of special attention. I was a stranger in my parent’s house. I holed up in books, finding places willing to take me in.
I moved into a large and complicated house with many interesting rooms and antiques. I was drawn into a magic wardrobe, pushed my way through mothballed fur coats, and found myself in an always-winter-and-never-Christmas land, full of fauns and dryads and naiads and dwarfs and animals and a black-hearted White Witch.
Things got interesting when I followed a White Rabbit with pink eyes down a rabbit hole, often changing my size unexpectedly.
Nothing could stop me in Villa Villekulla, as a strong and independent, red-haired in plaits, freckled little girl, who lived by herself with a monkey, a horse, and a suitcase full of gold coins.
And I didn't forfeit the boating and bathing in the afternoon, deep in green undergrowth with my friends, Water Rat and Mole, or dropping in for a chat with Mr. Toad, owner of Toad Hall, who possessed large amounts of money but not much brain.
mother's apple pie . . .
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