I watch an adorable four year old most Wednesday nights while his parents lead our high school youth group. Last week he and I snuggled in to read a huge pile of books. He excitedly handed me one favorite after another, the same way my children did, never seeming to tire of the same old story. Every week I sneak in a few new titles and this week, in celebration of a recent snow fall, we read Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.
I love all her stories as well as the illustrations that fill the page with tiny details and so much to look at. As I was enjoying each simple scene I suddenly was reminded of a previous 'friend' I had studied.
"But Katy was so big and strong
she had to stay at home,
because there was not enough snow for her to plow."
But Spider was so shy and wary
he had to curl the leaf,
because that was the only way to feel secure.
I gleefully showed my daughter my personal connection. She whimsically looked at the illustration of Katy in the garage smiling as she remembered the story. I then showed her my photo of the spider and she had to agreed that yes, it was quite like Katy preparing to plow. Then, in disgust, she said I had ruined the sweet image of Katy diligently plowing out a city from the big snow. To her the spider is a shudder-inducing creature that now replaces dear Katy in a once beloved book.
Connections our children make between different stories, ideas and adventures they have are as different as you and me. You may not 'get' my connection between Katy and the spider, but it was mine to make and mine to keep mulling over. I wonder if the spider's big snow is a big insect instead. I wonder how long he waits in that one leaf like the snow plow in a garage. Katy has a purpose proper to her as does the spider.
The spider laid in wait for days
so he could catch just the right insects for his supper
Then he went home satiated.
Then....and only then did the spider stop.