For Mr Strange Land, and all the other besuited daddies reading this blog
Mr Strange Land is not known for being a reserved and distant daddy. Quite the opposite, in fact. But he is besuited, and when he comes home at the end of the day, he often looks drawn and tired, and in need of… something.
In this story, Mr Prospero comes from his neat, tidy office, where things happen in neat, orderly fashion, just as he wants them to be, to his home, but…
… things never seemed to be nearly as neat when Mr Prospero went home.
And his twins (a particular resonance in our household) plead and demand and beg him to take him to the playground. Mrs Prospero adds her pleas – she is a songwriter, and she needs some peace and quiet to get her song right.
In his suit, with the twins, Mr Prospero goes off to the playground, in grumpy mood. The children desperately want to go down the huge dragon’s tongue slide (has Margaret Mahy visited Kowhai Park?), but they need their daddy with them. Very, very reluctantly, he slides down the slide, “perhaps just this once.”
And off they rush, down the slide, into the sandpit at the bottom, suit and all, and then,
“Again! Again!” shouted the twins, leaping up and down.
So they go down, again, and again, and again, until the twins are tired, and want to go home. But Mr Prospero takes one more glorious slide.
“Oh!” cried Mrs Prospero as Mr Prospero staggered into the living room. “What happened to you? Where are your buttons Why is your tie dangling behind you? And how did your shoes get into that state? Harry! Miranda! I thought you were going to take good care of your father.”
“He was too quick for us,” said Harry.
“I’ve been sliding down the dragon’s tongue,” said Mr Prospero dreamily.
Whoooosh! Swiiiish! Wheeee! Woooow!
A very happy book. And recommended reading, for all the busy mums and dads.