I never really knew my grandfather. I only met him a few times. But I will never, ever forget sitting on his impossibly big lap with my cousins listening to his rumbling bass-baritone voice reading chapters from Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories.” After he passed away, on the other coast of Canada, a box of memories was shipped to our family in New Brunswick, and in the box was the very copy of the Kipling that he had read from. (It was actually my mother’s school reading primer from the Alberta school system of 1936.)
I still have that book. I have read it, literally, thousands of times to my own 2 precious children who now at the age of 23 and 26 can still quote their favourite passages. I have gifted many, many copies to my students as they ventured into the world of education. I will never, ever tire of savouring Kipling’s melodic magic of “the great, grey, green, greasy, Limpopo river, all set about with fever trees.”
I fully intend, if I am so blessed, to share the very same magic with my children’s children, and should I be even more fortunate, their children as well, oh best beloved.
Reading to my children was, and still is, one of the very best things about being a Dad.
136th British Columbia