Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ferdinand the Bull

One of my favorite stories from childhood is Ferdinand the Bull (The Story of Ferdinand).  I remember sitting on the living room floor for hours, not only reading and looking at the pictures but listening to the 45rpm, record that came with the book.  I absolutely loved his story of Ferdinand the little bull who just wanted to live a peaceful life, smelling flowers and laying under the tree.  He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the bull ring even if that stinky old bee did bite him in the bahooty.

Years ago when my girls were little I decided I just had to read this story to them.  Of course, my original copy and the 45 had been thrown out long before and I couldn't find a current copy.  I began the search of finding a copy probably more to fill my own reminiscent need more than anything but because this little story made such an impact on me, I was sure my kids would reap the same pleasure.  I looked on line, asked friends and made phone calls only to find that any available copy was priced high enough to afford me a closet full of clothes.  After many weeks of searching, I finally dropped the dream of finding the book as a friend of mine at work told me that she too was unable to find anything but the collectors copies which of course were ridiculously priced.

One day while shopping at Costco, about five years ago, I came across a copy.  UNBELIEVABLE!  I was excited beyond words but somehow managed to keep my emotions at a minimum, until I reached the car that is.  I could not wait to get home.  Sitting there in the car I opened the book and read the story.  Believe it or not, I still could not wait to get to each new page.  I might mention that the book was not the original "Reading Railroad" size because it was a special edition copy about 22"x34".

So there I was in the drivers seat struggling to turn the pages without knocking the glasses off my nose or worse yet, getting a paper cut on my face, legs or arms.  The president himself could have knocked on the car window and I probably would have asked him to wait until I was done "sorry, Mr. President, I'm in the middle of something of high importance".  Finding this book, was just as important as finding the Titanic as far as I was concerned. 

I got the book home and attempted to show my girls who took it with a grain of salt.  What do they know, they're young!  I tried reading it to them, right then and there.  I put the book on the kitchen table and made every effort to draw them into the images before them. Nope.  Nothing.  Maybe a little fake excitement for my benefit but overall, they felt nothing.

So for the time being Fernie sits up in the closet, probably collecting a little dust and bored out of his witts until perhaps a grand baby comes along.  I'm praying that that won't be anytime soon. 

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Marie! What a memory! I LOVED Ferdinand the Bull! OMG I had forgotten about him. Thank you my friend. I was always a reader (as you are) and I remember reading so many great books as a kid: Charlotte's Web (loved it), the Little Eddie books, Ramona. What great characters. I remember laughing out loud reading my Ramona book because whenever anyone asked what color her eyes were she'd say "brown and white". LOL!