The Piper Cub Crosses a Major Literary Milestone

I’m working in my study and the Cub wanders in.

He looks at my bookshelf and says, “Will you read something to me, Daddy?”

I say “Sure!”

“It’s from a big book,” he warns.

“That’s fine,” I reassure him.

He pulls out one of my most attractive hard cover books, bound in red, with lovely calligraphic titles, and opens it to the start.

I begin to read:

"Three rings for the Elven kings, under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for mortal Men doomed to die…"

I finish the poem and he thinks for a moment, says “Thank you, Daddy!” and toodles off again.

That made my day! Thanks!

Cool. How old is he?

Tolkien, right? (I’m not a fan, but I respect the fans.). If he had asked you to read the first pages of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast I would have been even more impressed.

Just as well he didn’t read himself “Jabberwocky.” He could have sent himself into another dimension and vanished in front of your very eyes.

Not quite a literary milestone but …

When my oldest was something like nine or ten he was not doing so great in school and I had slight concerns. Then he came up from watching tv downstairs and told he just watched something he loved and that I should watch it too. “Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, Dad. You should watch it.”

That’s when I knew he was going to do just fine.

I remember, when I was a young child, asking my Dad to read me a story from a certain big book on his bookshelf. The book was the Collected Works of Shakespeare. I didn’t know that at the time; I just knew it was a big book, and must have lots of wonderful stories inside.

Dad loved Shakespeare, and did his best. It wasn’t word-for-word, of course; but Dad described the plays as they unfolded, included the quotable parts (“Fire burn and cauldron bubble” and “To be or not to be?”), and did his best to tell Shakespeare’s stories in words a six-year-old could understand. I loved it.

I still enjoy Shakespeare to this day, probably thanks to my Dad, and those long-ago story readings. Glad to hear that you’re introducing the Cub to Tolkien and literature, and I hope he grows up enjoying it as much as I enjoy Shakespeare.

My kids (25-29) still occasionally remind me how much they enjoyed that I read the entirety of the Hobbit and TLOTR to them. The songs were tough!

Great story, NP! Get 'em hooked early, that’s the best way. I read The Hobbit to each of our sons in turn, and my wife and I read all the Harry Potter books over the years aloud to the boys, but I must confess that our middle son and I have sort of bogged down in LOTR - been a few months since we last read any of it together. We should give it another shot this summer once he’s done with school.

Heh. Good work. I read JRRT’s works to my kids before they were 6. They’re still fans to this day, well over two decades later.

I think the Hobbit is next up.

Spoon, we got him some Usborne books for his level, which included prose versions of Hamlet and Macbeth. He really liked them and re-read them. Not so keen on Romeo and Juliet.

We always read to our daughter at bedtime. This began when she was one day old.

I believe because her parents always had their noses in a book, she became an excellent reader.

Her third grade teacher told the class, if anyone reads more books than me over summer vacation, I will take them to lunch.

And my daughter was treated to lunch.

This month she published her first book.

Reading is a beautiful thing.

I preferred another story by them, a funny one titled “The Proud Robot”

My sixth grade teacher read “The Hobbit” to us, and I attribute to him my love for sci-fi and fantasy. I got the chance to tell him so at his retiement party.

I think my love for SF and Fantasy began with my second grade teacher’s reading of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Her Willy Wonka voice was amazing.) Also I credit my third grade teacher’s reading of The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet. (She had an equally excellent Mr. Bass voice.)

Cool. Now, start reciting the hymn of Elbereth, in Elvish, and see if he finishes it for you. :slight_smile:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
Silivren penna miriel

And the Cub discovered that Apple TV has the LOTR movies on it.

Watched Fellowship last weekend; Two Towers was last night’s Friday family movie.

Loves the battle scenes, and talking to me about why the different characters are doing different things.

Literally bouncing on the chesterfield at some of the battles, but definitely wanting Mom or Dad to stay with him during the spooky bits.

So what was the book? :confused:

:stuck_out_tongue: d&r

I hope you covered his eyes when Legolas skiied downstairs on a shield at Helm’s Deep. :: shudder ::

Oh no, that was one of the best parts, in the Cub’s estimation. :slight_smile:

His favourites in the movie were Legolas and the ‘guy with the sword’. The Cub is a bit weak sometimes on names, but picking out the ‘guy with the sword’ in a set of movies full of sword play was actually easy: Strider/Aragorn. (Although each time I referred to Strider or Aragorn, he would say “Who?”)

Interestingly, when the Witch King Naz Gûl is facing Éowyn and says “No man can kill me”, the Cub immediately said, gleefully, “But she’s not a man!” Then Merry stabbed him in the leg and I said, “Neither is Merry”, which he found humourous.

And then in horror in the climax: “He bit off Frodo’s finger?!?”