I am an avid reader and there is no way I can stay away from a bookstore. Even now.
Ever since I started to suffer from Wet MD, bad enough to bar me from reading most paper books, I have used intensively the Amazon Kindle - the first one and then the Kindle touch... Then I started using the iPad 2 because it is so comfortable and it hosts so many nice apps like Kindle, iBooks, Kobo and now Play Books... all there in one spot.
The catalogs are huge. It is really interesting for me to read the latest books or essays either in English or French. And it is fascinating to rediscover very old books, classics that I would have the hardest time to find in a bookstore...
The other night, I was going through the Kobo catalog, my latest app. I usually start browsing through the free ebooks.
And there it was, right from my past, one of my beloved books when I was very young and even later on. One of those books offered by Magnard’s publishing house after completing one of those “cahiers de vacances” I already wrote about.
A book I still have on my bookshelves in Brussels... but in French of course.
I wonder how many of you have read “A Little Princess” by Frances Hodgson Burnett? She wrote the book in 1905. It still was a classic book in the 1950s, even in France. Are girls still reading it nowadays?
At the time, we were still living in Normandy. As I’ve mentioned it so many times, our family life was very dysfunctional. We could have had a nice normal life but due to events I don’t even want to write about, we were raised in a very violent environment and we were very poor indeed.
Being poor was not really a problem. I had a very vivid imagination and this was one of the reasons why Sara Crewe became my instant heroine and stayed close to my heart for such a long time.
I won’t tell you the whole story. But just in case you’ve never read the book and don't feel like reading it after all, there is a nice summary in Wikipedia...
One click and “A Little Princess” was mine again on my iPad - and in English, this time and free of charge. This time no “cahier de vacances” either!
I settled down on the couch and started reading. I was a little bit worried because I really had a bad experience with Prince Valiant, two years ago along with rather serious books and novels that I used to love when growing up - French, etc. classical literature and ended up deleting from my iPad... with a sigh!
But all in all, “A Little Princess” was well written, delightfully old-fashioned and lovely. Very lovely... even so many years later.
And suddenly, there it was... the name “Princess Sara”!!! Something that I had buried for so long in my memory...
Now I knew why I had chosen this name for the kitten my friend gave me in 1997 because she had a broken leg and was supposed to be put to sleep since she no longer was of marketable quality.
She was a pure breed blue eyed Birman Orange Point. So pretty. One look at her and I fell in love with her. We all did except our cat Byerly, at least for a few days.
Then I had to choose her name. Since she was a pure breed kitten, my friend was insisting on giving her the right name starting with N, that year.
But when her blue eyes came to rest on me with so much trust and love, I could only think about one name and only one - Sara, Princess Sara.
I was totally adamant that her name had to be Sara and nothing else. My friend who was a vet at the time was a little bit upset. She gave in though after telling me that I was being completely childish - not a compliment when you realize that I was very close to turning 50... Actually we both gave in, sort of.
Sara became Sara except that her official name was N’Sara!
We never called her N’Sara of course. She became Sara and most of the time, she was “Princess Sara”, being so beautiful and priceless and lovely.
She died a few years ago and we still miss her. She was so unique, one very small and fluffy bundle of love.
During all those years, I had always been wondering why this name “Princess Sara”... I even tried to find a Biblical meaning to it. Of course, “Sara” is a hebrew name and means “Princess” but then why would I make it so redundant... “Princess Princess”?
There it was... at last... in my childhood beloved book by Frances Hodgson Burnett - “A Little Princess” - the story of “Princess Sara”. Well, notwithstanding the fact that Burnett's Sara's eyes are green and her hair is dark and curly. Memory is a tricky friend after all!
Crazy, isn’t it?
A name coming up from childhood. A name long forgotten. A name that had such an influence on me that when I was given this kitten to love, there was no other name more priceless than “Sara”.
Let me share a few pictures of my “Princesse Sara” with you. While I was sorting them last night, I realized that they really did not do her justice mainly because they are silent. She used to be so talkative and a mere glance from one of us would send her into a frenzy of purring.
She was not at all adventurous and a little bit featherbrained but she was always there whenever you needed her affection and a friendly lick from a very rosy and rough tongue as if to say: “Don’t worry, I am here and I love you so much.”
|The way she was when we got her - with her splint... So enduring.|
|In love with Byerly... She was a winner.|
|Our turn came as soon as she was finished with her grooming.|
|She hated being outside...|
|except with Byerly around...|
|She did know that "Blue" was her color!|
|One of her last pictures... Matted hair. Blind blue eyes. But still so lovely.|
Byerly was a grand cat but Sara was pure love and so outstandingly beautiful.
Well, she was Sara, our “Princess Sara.”
*Good Luck, and Good Night*