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Manny’s birthday book – August 7

August 7, 2011

Kate Greenaway's Birthday Book for ChildrenMy grandmother, who I called Manny, had a birthday book.  I’m posting the entries throughout the year, as they appear.

From Manny’s Birthday Book:  August 7th – Frances

Poor croquet balls! Quite idle,

They’ve got no work to do;

Just like the frozen-out gardeners,

That in winter trouble you.

I wonder what Manny the child thought about this verse.  Of course she didn’t make the entry until she was an adult.  Frances is one of her children.

I remember going out every evening in winter to cover the shrubs in the front yard of Manny’s house with table cloths and such, to protect them from the frost.  That’s as near to ‘frozen-out’ as it ever got in Norseman.  I remember on one of those occasions, being sent inside urgently, while Manny searched everywhere for a snake she believed was in the garden.  Eventually I asked her why she thought there was a snake.  She showed me the marks in the dirt that were ‘snake tracks’ and I showed her the stick my brother was dragging around behind him, as she worked covering the shrubs.

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