just so

photo 0032 by Anton Walker

Recently, I noticed an old copy of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories on our bookshelf.  It must have been Erica’s Dad’s.  It’s been wonderful reading from it to Anton and Viola (sometimes Farley curls up on the floor near us too).  I’ve been keeping an eye out for a food-related passage to post.

This passage comes from ‘The Cat that Walked by Himself’ which is a story explaining how Woman domesticated man, dog, horse, and cow but could not fully domesticate cat…

She picked out a nice dry Cave, instead of a heap of wet leaves, to lie down in; and she strewed clean sand on the floor; and she lit a nice fire of wood at the back of the Cave; and she hung a dried wild-horse skin, tail-down, across the opening of the Cave; and she said, “wipe your feet, dear, when you come in, and now we’ll keep house.”

That night, Best Beloved, they ate wild sheep roasted on the hot stones, and flavoured with wild garlic and wild pepper; and wild duck stuffed with wild rice and wild fenugreek and wild coriander; and marrow-bones of wild oxen; and wild cherries, and wild grenadillas.   Then the Man went to sleep in front of the fire ever so happy; but the woman sat up combing her hair.   She took the bone of the shoulder of mutton-the big fat blade-bone-and she looked at the wonderful marks on it, and she threw more wood on the fire, and she made a Magic.  She made the First Singing Magic in the world.

Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling, Doubleday & Company, 1907, p. 198.