Friday, 27 March 2009
the moon fairy & the little white horse
im reading *the little white horse* right now.
i love the description of her room:
the turret stairs ended at a door so small that a large
grown-up could not possibly have got through it.
but for a slim girl of thirteen it was exactly right.
maria stopped and gazed at it with a beating heart,
for though this little narrow, low door was obviously
hundreds of years old, yet she felt as though it had
been made especially for her, for if she had been
able to choose her own door, this was the door she
would have chosen. it was more like a front door
than a bedroom door, like the door of her very own
house. it was of silvery grey oak studded with silver
nails and it had a knocker made of the smallest daintiest
horseshoe maria had ever seen, polished so brightly that
it shone like sliver... the door was opened by a silver latch
that clicked in a friendly sort of way when maria lifted it, as
though it was welcoming her.
she went in,
latched the door behind her,
put her candle carefully down on the floor, leaned
back against the door and gazed and gazed, with her lips
parted and her unusually pale face glowing like a pink rose,
and her eyes like stars. no pen could possibly do justice
to the exquisite charm and beauty of marias room.
it was at the top of the tower,
and the tower was a round one, so marias room was circular,
neither too large nor too small, just the right size for a
girl of thirteen. it had three windows, two narrow lancet
windows and one large one with a window-seat in the
thickness of the wall. the curtains had not been drawn
across the windows, and through the same could see
the stars. in each of the windows stood beautiful silver
branched candlesticks with three lighted candles
burning in each of them.
the ceiling was vaulted and delicate ribbings of stone
curved over marias head like the branches of a tree,
meeting at the highest point of the ceiling in a carved
representation of a sickle moon surrounded by stars.
there was no carpet on the silvery-oak floor, but a
little white sheepskin rug lay beside the bed, so that
marias bare toes should meet something warm
and soft when they went floorwards of a morning.
the bed was a little four-poster hung with pale blue
silk curtains embroidered with silver stars,
of the same material as the window curtains,
and spread with a patchwork quilt made of exquisite
squares of velvet and silk of all colours of the rainbow.
there was little furniture in the room,
just a couple of silvery-oak chests for her clothes,
a small round mirror hung upon the wall above one of them
and a stool with a silver ewer and basin upon it.
it had a tiny fireplace deeply recessed in the wall
and was enough for the fire of pine-cones and
apple wood that burned in it, filling the room
with fragrance. but when maria started to explore
her room she found that it was not without luxuries.
over the fireplace was a shelf and on it stood a
blue wooden box filled with dainty biscuits
with sugar flowers on them, in case she should feel
hungry between meals. and beside the fireplace
stood a big basket filled with more logs and pine-cones...
enough to keep her fire burning all through the night.
it was perfect.