WBU-NAC(Senior group) Fine Work
Jamie Lloyd U.S.A (28, Female)
Two weeks ago as we sat together, reading “the Scarlet Letter”, you took my copy from me and playfully pretended to read it. “When did you learn this? Tell me about the books that you have read. Do you write sometimes and was there a man called Braille”? It was clear when you asked that you were fascinated, and I deliberately refused to answer knowing very well there would be other questions, answers to which I would never know. But as I sit here, listening to the pouring rain I have now decided to answer all you asked.
I began attending the School for the Blind at the age of 3 and two years later was introduced to Braille. This as I already knew would be the key to the glorious adventure of a lifetime. So with the eagerness of a butterfly newly released from its cocoon I practiced my letters zealously until one day I realized with unspeakable delight that I could read as fluently as my cousin Debbie. I would now have the privilege of being transported into unexplored worlds through the power of books. So with the appetite of a ravenous wolf I made my way to the Library. After greeting and being greeted by the Librarian I asked her to help me to find something to read. Upon its completion I was given the opportunity to search for books of my liking. These were books of all types, fiction and non-fiction covering every conceivable subject I could master at that stage. As I grew older my range of books expanded and I began to read such books as Little house on the Prairie, Anne of Green Gables, Secret Garden and Aesop’s Fables. William Shakespeare, said to be one of the greatest English playwrights was and still is my all-time favourite. With what pleasure-then horror did I read Othello, who after marrying Desdemona the supposed love of his life, he kills her on the suspicion of being an adulterous wife and when he learns of his error he kills himself in terror; a tragedy much like Romeo and Juliet. But I found that these books were very entertaining and spent all night reading with my mother complaining. Some of the other Shakespearean plays I’ve read are: The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night and Macbeth. My grandfather told me that I loved hearing fairy tales as a child and I did not I would run wild. So though I was older and my range of books expanded I clung to these books fearing we would be disbanded.
Apart from reading, I also loved to write and here is something I wrote:
There once lived a man
In the City of Spann, who loved nothing more than making shoes.
He lived in a hovel that he cleaned with a shovel
And played cards though he knew he would lose.
He made shoes of all kinds, some short and some tall
And a pair for his sister two sizes too small.
The one day while sipping lemonade
He looked up and saw a young maid.
She looked very fair, there were pearls in her hair
And he asked her in wonder why she was there.
My mistress the queen who is rarely seen
Needs shoes that are white for the king’s ball tonight.
So he made the queen’s shoes and was happy that day
And decided that evening to go and play.
So he went to the theatre, took his seat
And during intermission bought something to eat.
They young maid for her part was at the king’s ball
She was his beloved only child after all.
Her mother the queen had died two years before
And she danced that night until her feet were sore.
The next morning when the princess awoke
She looked at the maid and spoke.
“I need to borrow back your disguise
So I can see the city again
Without my father’s spies”.
For indeed she was the young maid
The shoemaker had seen while sipping lemonade.
So she wore the disguise and went out again
And as she walked to the shoe shop
The church bells struck ten.
When the shoemaker saw her
He gave her a warm smile
And the princess decided to stay there a while.
The princess and the shoemaker talked all that day
And in going home she almost lost her way.
When she got there she found her father outside walking
With someone whose face was hidden they were easily talking.
The next morning the king called the princess to his side
To tell her that she would be a noble man’s bride.
“but father I can’t she said in dismay
For I love the shoemaker I saw yesterday.”
After she had spoken the princess burst into tears
Because she had never disobeyed her father in all these years.
The king after looking at his daughter for a while
Touched her on the shoulder and said with a big smile
“why do you cry when you should be happy
For the shoemaker is the noble man which you will marry.”
So the king told the princess about how his spies
Had been sent to watch her despite her disguise.
They were with when the shoemaker gave you the shoes
And when even listening when talked of a cruise.
You both love each other ran that is a good thing
And when I die you will be queen and he will be king.
So the princess and the shoemaker were married with laughter
And as everyone would have it they lived happily ever after.
So the next time you see me Anna, tell me what you think and please make sure that we have orange juice to drink? I wonder if Louis Braille ever imagined that this system he developed would become important. The son of a harness maker and blinded by an accident in early childhood Louis never felt like this was the end. Instead he used his gifts and love of learning to live a full and productive life. I will stop writing now as it is almost morning by the sound of my clock and I need to get some sleep.
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