Aunt Effie and Mrs Grizzle (18 page)

I once knew a dog
who grew very old, and very wise, so wise that he gave up talking. When I told people how wise my old dog was, they asked him difficult questions but, because he’d given up talking, he said nothing. And because he said nothing, people didn’t believe me when I tried telling them that my old dog used to talk.

By the time this book is published, I’ll be seventy-seven. You’re supposed to get wiser, as you grow older but, unlike my wise old dog, I’ve got sillier. What if I live to eighty-seven, or ninety-seven, and go on getting sillier all that time? Perhaps I should give up talking and see if that makes me any wiser; perhaps I should get a young dog who’ll tell people that I used to talk before I got old.

I might do what Aunt Effie’s mother did in this book, and grow down instead of up, and that could mean that I’ll grow wiser as I grow younger again. But what if I can’t stop at just the right age? I don’t know that I’d like being a baby again, having to wear nappies! And what if once I’d grown down, I started growing up again? Would that mean I’d have to go to school and learn to read and write all over again? It should be easier this time. And this time, I’ll take care to get wiser, like my wise old dog.

 

—Jack Lasenby

Aunt Effie
2002

Aunt Effie’s Ark
2003

Aunt Effie and the Island that Sank
2004

Winner, 2005 New Zealand Post Book Awards

Children’s Literature Foundation of New Zealand (CLFNZ) Notable Books List 2005

This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior permission of Longacre Press and the author.

Jack Lasenby asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

© Jack Lasenby

A catalogue record for this book is available from the National Library of New Zealand.

ISBN 978 1 869796 49 5

First published by Longacre Press, 2008
30 Moray Place, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Book and cover design by Christine Buess
Cover illustrations by David Elliot
Printed by Griffin Press, Australia

www.longacre.co.nz

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