Monday, June 09, 2014

Thimbles

3 1/2 years ago, i gave this story to someone who I pegged is the happily-ever-after type. I still believe.
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Peter Pan gave Wendy a thimble.As thimbles go, this one was wet and sloppy. And yet of all thimbles, Wendy was sure, Peter’s was the best.

“That’s a thimble?” Wendy asked. “What is it for?”

Peter Pan smiled sheepishly as he hovered over her bed. “Oh, you know, something you give another person to tell them you like them.”

“So you like me?”

Peter sighed and settled on a duvet beside her. “I did give you the thimble, didn’t I?”

“Well.” Wendy replied. She reached over to her bedstand and picked up her stitching. “Well.” She said again. She seemed to be lost for words. Her fingers clumsily worked the needle and thread.

“Well?” Peter flitted up, inched his face closer to Wendy. “What are you thinking?”

“Nothing.” She said, too quickly.

Peter was visibly miffed. “Nothing? But that’s the best kind of thimble ever!”
Wendy’s eyes widened. “Are there many kinds of thimbles?”
He huffed. “Of course! And I know all of them. Would you like to have them all?”

Wendy bit her tongue, an answer hovering on her lips. She wasn’t sure she’s allowed to have more thimbles. But oh, she wanted more! “How many are there?” she put down the cloth and folded her hands over her lap, just like she does in school when learning lessons.

“Lots and lots!” Peter jumped from her bed and did a quick zip around the room. “There are big ones and small ones, and slow one and quick ones, and…”

“Wet ones, I suppose.” Wendy finished for him.

“It wouldn’t be half as nice if it were dry.” Peter defended.

“Fine.” Wendy nodded, intelligently. “I’d like to have all the thimbles, please.”

Peter Pan clicked his feet together. “I’d love to give them all to you, Wendy! But in one condition…” he sat beside her on her bed. “Don’t tell the lost boys yet. Let’s tell them together when we’ve figured out the thimbles. Is it a deal?”

Wendy nodded. She didn’t think she’d like to tell the lost boys about thimbles anyway. Thimble-giving felt private and best done in secret.

“Close your eyes, Wendy. Here comes.”

Peter leaned forward and gave her a thimble. Wendy suddenly felt overwarm. She doesn’t care what Peter says, this thimble was better than the first.

“That’s one. And then…” Peter whispered and leaned forward again. This thimble made Wendy feel as if her lips were waking up, realizing there are other uses for the mouth than just speaking and eating. Definitely better than the first two.

Peter pushed another thimble towards her, this time, parting her mouth.  Definitely, Wendy thought to herself, the best thimble of them all. She found she could breathe if she breathes slowly through her nose. It felt just like swimming in the sea. And she felt just as calm and buoyant.

“Wendy!” came a voice from downstairs, coming nearer.

Peter and Wendy stared at each other for a moment before leaping into movement. Wendy pushed Peter away from her bed. “You must go, Peter! Mother and Nana are coming. Nana will smell you were here!”

“Shall I come back for more thimbles tomorrow, Wendy?” he asked, mischief and sheepishness alternately twinkling in his eyes.

Wendy smiled and reached out to touch Peter’s face. “Yes, Peter. Come back. I want more thimbles. 
Lots and lots.”

The mischievous glint in his eyes was replaced by something tender, only for a moment, but it was there. “Then I shall. I can’t wait.”

“Nor can I, so promise to come.”

“I promise, Wendy. I will.” Then with a wink, Peter snapped his fingers and shimmering dust fell across the bed covers. “You are my happy thought,” he said before he sailed out of the window.

“And you, mine.” Wendy whispered to herself. She hastily picked up her stitching, just in time for Mother to see as she swung open the door.

“Wendy? Aren’t you asleep yet?” Mother asked.

“I’m just finishing the last stitch, Mother. I shall rest soon.” She smiled innocently while keeping an eye on Nana who was sniffing the air and thumping her tail a little too restively. Oh Nana, don’t give me away, Wendy prayed silently.

Mother looked around her room and nodded. “Well then, alright. BE careful stitching in bad light though, dear. You might prick your fingers.” Her hand went to her deep apron pocket. “Here you go, just so you won’t hurt yourself.”

Mother held out the smallest cup Wendy has ever seen. It was shiny and silvery where the moonlight was hitting it.

“Oh, what a pretty little thing! What is it, Mother?” Wendy took it and held it against the light coming in from the small dainty lamp beside her.

Mother smiled. “A thimble, Wendy. Now, be careful, okay?” With that, Mother leaned forward to kiss Wendy on the forehead, oblivious to the stunned look on her face. “Goodnight!”

“Goodnight Mother! Goodnight, Nana!” Wendy managed to say.

 When the door closed, Wendy held up the pretty little thing against the light again. “A thimble. Oooh, that Peter! He tricked me.” She only frowned for a moment, and then she smiled.

“I like thimbles.” She said softly to herself. “This and the other kind. I shall give Peter lots of thimbles when he comes, thimbles straight on ‘til morning.”

And somewhere in the night sky, perhaps just behind the second star from the right, a man-boy grins with delight.

A Note:
In the book, it was actually Wendy who gave Peter pan a thimble when he mistook a kiss as an object --- he didn’t know what kisses were. So I took a lot of license writing this one. :D

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