Cholera thrives in contaminated water.
“I had a little bird,
Her name was Enza,
Opened the door,
And in flew Enza.”
And the two headed woman wandered into sight around a heap of rubble. She stopped and looked down at Zerchi. …He noticed that the head of Mrs. Grales slept soundly on the other shoulder while Rachel smiled. It seemed a young, shy smile that hoped for friendship.
…He glanced again at the face of Mrs. Grales. It had grown gray with the impersonal mask of coma. …Somehow he felt certain it was dying. He could imagine it withering and eventually falling away like a scab or an umbilical cord. Who then was Rachel? And what?
…His vision went foggy, he could no longer see her form. But cool fingertips touched his forehead and he heard her say one word.
Then she was gone. He could hear her voice trailing away in the new ruins. “La la la, la-la-la…”
~ excerpt from A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
a drawing by my mother, c. 1970s
My mother went through a phase of children’s illustrations long before I was born. This particular image hung on the wall of my childhood bedroom. I stumbled across it the other day and experienced a wave of nostalgia, but also felt the lingering fear it used to cause me when I was little.
This series featured original ideas (such as this one), but many of the drawings were inspired from traditional fairy tales. She adored The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson and always read these tales to me in their original form. For this reason she refused to take me to Disney films as she felt they butchered the stories to make them family friendly.
I do kind of like classic Disney movies because they feel strangely forbidden to me (I went to my friend’s house to watch them), but I can also understand her point of view as well. If you were raised on a Cinderella where the step sisters chopped off their heels to fit that glass slipper, and who eventually had their eyes pecked out by birds at the royal wedding, watching the Disney version might seem a bit dull.