So on this one Sunday Mammy has this little red book in her reticule and I am eyeing it , crazy with want. I had read Mr Kipling's Jungle Books (1 and 2) the tale of Gunga Din which transported me to India and all her glory and his poems were always magical. I am feeling the pull of this little book til I can concentrate on nothing else. Our summertime visit will soon come to an end and we will be going home with Mama and Daddy to Cleveland, Ohio. Our time is short and I know that before I go I must read this book. So we get to Mammy and Daddy Dwight's house this particular Sunday and the little red book goes into hiding. I know that Mammy is reading it and I began to monitor her progress. I judged how far into it she was by the Bible Tract about the man with no feet she used as a book mark. It was now two days away from our departure. I knew that if she were to finish it today, I could sit up all night and read it. I asked her if she had finished it and she said, not quite.
Our bags were packed and ready to load into the trunk for the long trip home. I had written down the title of the book so that I could see if the library had it. The book had by now become an obsession. I knew that when we came back to Chesterfield in the following summer that the book would be on Mammy's long bookshelf and that it would be available to read then. But the burning longing to know the story of the little dog in the book was undeniable. The trunk was loaded, we all stood in the side yard hugging goodbye, Mama had big tears in her eyes, Daddy was saying "hurry up, hurry up!" and Mammy pressed a little package into my hands. I looked down and red bindings stained my hands and hot tears poured. I hugged her and thanked her and she whispered in my ear "it made me cry, too." I held that little book in my hands for first two hundred miles, turning it over and examining the bindings and the the title, the little black dog imprinted upon the cover and then I punished myself by not opening it to read the title page. I wanted to savour the moment without the blur of travel and annoyance of voices. I wanted to be in the privacy of my own room, tucked up in bed, flashlight in hand if necessary, to enjoy the intimacy of the greatest gift my Grandmother ever gave me. It was worth the wait to finally know his name. "Please may I come in? My name is Boots"