Do you have a favourite Aiken moment, from a letter or a talk that Joan gave? Or something from a story, a quotation from Dido perhaps?
Here’s a piece about Dido’s two sisters, Penny and Is (short for Isabett, but no one ever seems to call her that!) Is, trying to avoid the guards on the sinister PLAYLAND EXPRESS has dived into a roll of carpet, and now while she’s wondering how to get out again, has a moment for reflection. Interesting that Pen who teaches Is to read has made use of some of Joan’s own stories, like The Three Wishes, and possibly some of her own philosophy?
“She thought about Penny’s stories. There was one about a man who had three wishes and married a swan. If I had three wishes, I know what I’d wish for, thought Is. I’d wish for those two boys to be found, and for us all to be back on Blackheath Edge. She thought about Penny teaching her to read.
“What’s the point of reading?” Is had grumbled at first. “You can allus tell me stories, that’s better than reading.”
“I’ll not always be here,” Penny had said shortly. “Besides, once you can read, you can learn somebody else. Folk should teach each other folk what they know.”
“If you don’t learn anything, you don’t grow. And someone’s gotta learn you.”
Well, thought Is, if I get outta here, I’ll be able to learn some other person the best way to get free from a rolled-up rug.”