kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)
There were movies about Pippi, based on books by Astrid Lindgren, and I loved them all when I was little. Pippi was The Girl Who Never Heard That She Couldn't Do Something, the strongest girl in the world, and that included being stronger than grownups. She lived in her own house, with her monkey and her horse, and she made friends with a couple of normal children named Tommy and Annika, and completely rocked their world. She was one of my heroes.

Astrid Lindgren also wrote some other things. I can recommend Ronia, the Robber's Daughter. Ronia was the daughter of a mountain bandit, and when she grew old enough to be allowed out of the house, into the wild and dangerous woods, her father warned her to "watch out" for the forest's dangers, and her mother told her that the local predators got more aggressive if they could smell your fear, so the best thing was not to be frightened.

And in the days that followed, Ronia watched out for what was dangerous and practiced not being frightened. She was to be careful not to fall into the river, Matt had said, so she hopped, skipped, and jumped warily over the slippery stones along the riverbank, where the river rushed most fiercely. She was to stay by the waterfalls. To reach them, she had to climb down Matt's Mountain, which fell in a sheer drop to the river. That way she could also practice not being frightened. The first time it was difficult; she was so frightened that she had to shut her eyes. But bit by bit she became more daring, and soon she knew where the crevices were, where she could place her feet, and where she had to cling with her toes in order to hang on and not pitch backward into the rushing water.

What luck, she thought, to find a place where she could both watch out that she didn't fall in and practice not being frightened!

So her days passed. Ronia watched out and practiced more than Matt and Lovis knew, and in the end she was like a healthy little animal, strong and agile and afraid of nothing. Not of gray dwarfs, not of wild harpies, not of getting lost in the forest, and not of falling into the river. So far she had not begun to watch out for Hell's Gap, but she planned to start soon.

Ronia is for more advanced readers than the Pippi books. It's a bit darker and includes slightly more mature subjects, like romance and feuds.

Now [personal profile] noracharles has started a community for Astrid Lindgren fanfic. It's called [community profile] bullerbyn, and so far has posts in English, Swedish, and German. If you're a Lindgren fan, I encourage you to check it out.


kathmandu: Close-up of pussywillow catkins. (Default)

October 2017

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