Oak and Bathsheba

I have never liked a book’s character so much as I loved the characters penned by Thomas Hardy in Far From the Madding Crowd. There is Gabriel Oak, a sincere friend, a capable shepherd and a man of principles; and there is Bathsheba Everdene, the mistress of the farm, free spirited, vanity laden and possessor of an uncertain temperament. Their friendship makes quite an interesting story as it dwindles, topples, soothes and balances.

I was tempted to make some artwork this Saturday evening and the thought of  ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ came quite vividly to my mind . The story of these two nice people, under the backdrop of a country side, with sheeps and greenery and everything that reinforces the thought of a simple, ‘close to the Nature’ life, has created a long lasting impression in my mind.

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Hence I got a white chart paper and began to draw a scene out of my imagination, trying to depict Oak and Bathsheba. I wanted to draw trees and that they will be walking through the woods. Gabriel will have a very simple dress and Bathsheba will be dressed in some bright color. Gabriel will be doing some act of help as was his nature in the novel. So I showed him carrying a basket of apples on a stick, which he puts across his shoulders and walks merrily on the path. Bathsheba walks along with him and talks with him, probably taking his suggestions on the decisions she wishes to implement in the farm.

I couldn’t paint the path which I realized I should have painted first, before painting the two people.So I left the path white.Also, I had drawn a sheep in the beginning but it was not looking like any sheep I have ever seen so I erased it at last.

Finally I had this painting…I m glad I could make it..it is my tribute to the wonderful novel that has so enraptured me with all it’s beauty of storytelling; and the two characters whose nature and personalities have acquired a distinctive space in my mind.

Oak and Bathsheba, Far From the Madding Crowd.

“They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends”

You cannot catch me, I am the Gingerbread Man

Once there lived an old man, an old woman, and a little boy. One day, the old woman was baking bread. With the dough that was left over, she made a Gingerbread Man with the little boy’s help. The old woman made the shape of the Gingerbread Man. The boy put two black currants as his eyes, and a red cherry as the nose, a crescent-shaped apple slice as the smiley mouth, and three grapes as three buttons on his shirt.

Then the old woman popped the Gingerbread Man into the oven, and went out to the garden. The little boy waited by the oven. He was very hungry.

After a while, the oven door opened suddenly, and the Gingerbread Man leapt out! The boy was amazed. The Gingerbread Man ran towards the door and raced down the garden.

The boy could not believe his eyes, but he soon yelled out, “Help! The Gingerbread Man is getting away!”

The old man, who was repairing his lawn mower, and the old woman, ran after the Gingerbread Man, shouting and screaming. The little boy joined them. So all three began to chase the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

Soon, a spotted dog saw the Gingerbread Man and joined in the chase. He barked, “If I catch you, I will gobble you up.”

A hungry cow grazing in the barn saw the Gingerbread Man, and she also wanted to take a bite. “I will get you and munch on you,” she screeched.

She joined the little boy, the old man, the old woman, and the dog in chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

At the end of the lane, three mowers were busy cutting grass. When they saw the Gingerbread Man, they stopped working, and wanted to eat him. They also ran after the Gingerbread Man.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, and the three mowers were chasing the Gingerbread Man. However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

After a while, the Gingerbread Man reached a farm. Standing at the gate, were two piglets waiting for the farmer to feed them. They were really hungry. When they saw the Gingerbread Man, they jumped out, and joined in the chase.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, and the two piglets were chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

As the Gingerbread Man raced on, a pony grazing on a meadow saw him. The pony thought the Gingerbread Man would be very tasty. “I will devour you in a couple of bites!” said the pony, and began to trot after the Gingerbread Man.

Thus, the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, the two piglets and the pony were chasing the Gingerbread Man.

However, the Gingerbread Man, still racing, shouted to them,
“Run! Run! As fast as you can! But you cannot catch me. I am the Gingerbread Man!”

The Gingerbread Man raced faster than ever, and soon reached a riverbank. The river seemed quite deep. He gazed down at the water, and sighed, “Oh dear! What shall I do? I don’t know how to swim. They will catch me and eat me.”

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Just then a cunning fox came to him and said- ‘I will help you cross the river, donot worry. Climb on my back’ The gingerbread man climbed over it.

As they were in the middle of the river, the fox asked the Gingerbread Man to climb over it’s nose as the water was rising high. When the Gingerbread man climbed on his nose, the fox jerked its snout up, throwing the Gingerbread Man up in the air. The fox opened it’s greedy mouth to gulp it in, but a dove was flying by and the Gingerbreadman caught its tail and swung with it to jump to the other shore, and ran towards the woods.

‘I won’t spare you’ shouted the fox and climbed the shore. Meanwhile the little boy, the old man, the old woman, the spotted dog, the hungry cow, the three mowers, the two piglets and the pony also reached the other side.

They looked left and right and hither and tither and yonder and tonder but they couldn’t find the Gingerbreadman.’Oh we have lost it’ they groaned. So they all got sad and returned to their homes.

Since then, whenever they slept at night, they would dream of working in the garden or walking in the fields and a tiny figure would run besides them and they will run after it, hungrily!

‘Wait, Wait I want to eat you man’

And the tiny figure will say, as it ran forever away from their clutches-

“Run Run as fast as you can! You can not catch me, I am the Gingerbread Man.”

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Afterwords: I got a chance to revisit the story of Gingerbread Man today, after so many years! I immensely liked the beautiful artwork by Carol of Gingerbread Man which prompted me to get back to the story once again.   I read the story published on kidsworldfun.com. I loved experiencing again the zest, playfullness and energy of the Gingerbread Man. It wanted to be free and was proud to outrun everyone who tried to catch it. It was unfortunate it reached the river and it did not know how to swim and the cunning fox devoured it.

Few days back, I had shared a post Should Wizard Hit Mommy in which I had shared a thought that children stories should have more practical endings. But today I felt that children stories should have happy endings! As I read the Gingerbread Man today, I didn’t like the fact that such a free spirited character should meet such a morbid conclusion. So, I re-wrote this story, borrowing the original content from kidsworldfun.com, and then introducing a new ending to the story after Gingerbread Man reaches the river.

I think a character like Gingerbread Man, who got alive so mysteriously and displayed such vivacity should remain alive and keep haunting people with it’s memorable lines!

gin

 

Word High July: Humaling

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Though a medical man by task,

But few patients came, alas

So while waiting one to arrive

Bloomed his deep fondness to write.

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A Study in Scarlet, his first tale

About a detective without a fail

Thrilled the readers down to the bones

And bravo! The world had Sherelock Holmes!

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– r prab

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(This is a tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the man who created Sherlock Holmes! Doyle, by profession, was a physician and this fact has ever fascinated me that it was while waiting for the patients to arrive, who came very rarely, his extreme fondness towards writing stories got a chance to prosper. He composed A Study in Scarlet, the first novel which introduced Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to the world. It was published in 1880. Doyle later said he was inspired by his University professor Joseph Bell, considered to be a pioneer of ‘forensic pathology’- using science for criminal investigation, to create the character of Sherlock Holmes.  I would say, if you have an extreme fondness towards doing something, it finds its way to bloom anyways! The above painting that I made is after referring the image of Conan Doyle’s writing room, which I found on Wikimedia.)

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Arthur Conan Doyle’s writing room, Groombridge, UK

 

In response to Word-High July: 30 Beautiful Filipino Words:

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Word High July : Muni Muni

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Lying flat on ground and

Looking up the sky

Contemplating of  life and

Thinking all the ‘Whys’

-r prab

(I have a curious mind and have often experienced the spells of deepest contemplation while lying down and staring at the sky.No wonder the colossal canvas of heaven imbues the mind with depth and inquisitiveness similar to itself! And I am pleased to share this artwork!  Following the posts of Carolina, Carol, and Tonya, over past several months motivated me to start doing some paintings. : ) It’s been almost 10 years since I left the drawing books! I hope this renewed inspiration and a little practice will help me get better at it! :  ) )

 

In response to Word-High July: 30 Beautiful Filipino Words: Muni Muni

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