Yesterday I reread Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon.
It was published 60 years ago, btw, in two-color.
Weird format, too.
And, of course, it’s perfect.
But what I keep thinking about these past 24 hours is that throwaway phrase, “a deserving porcupine.”
Do you recall it? Possibly not.
Harold thinks about a picnic, and pies, and being Harold, he goes a little overboard.
“He hated to see so much delicious pie go to waste.”
Here’s what kills me:
“So Harold left a very hungry moose and a deserving porcupine to finish it up.”
That phrase: a deserving porcupine.
How did Crockett Johnson even think of that? Out of all the available adjectives for a porcupine, he deemed this particular one “deserving.”
What did it do to deserve such treatment? I guess we’ll never know, but it feels to me like there’s a story there, somewhere off the page. The deserving porcupine appears on only one page of the book, then off Harold goes, in search of a hill to climb . . .
I should add this postscript:
I really think everybody should buy it. That would be awesome. Thanks!