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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #8

"Susan Sowerby went round the garden and was told the whole story of it and shown every bush and tree which had come alive. Colin walked on one side of her and Mary on the other. Each of them kept looking up at her comfortable rosy face, secretly curious about the delightful feeling she gave them -- a sort of warm, supported feeling. It seemed as if she understood them as Dickon understood his 'creatures.'...

"It was because she seemed such a wonderful woman in her nice moorland cottage way that at last she was told about the Magic.

"'Do you believe in Magic?' asked Colin, after he had explained about Indian fakirs. 'I do hope you do.'

"'That I do, lad,' she answered. 'I never knowed it by that name but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' the sun shinin' made thee a well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million -- worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it -- an' call it what tha' likes. Tha' wert singin' to it when I come into th' garden.'

"'I felt so joyful,' said Colin, opening his beautiful strange eyes at her. 'Suddenly I felt how different I was -- how strong my arms and legs were, you know -- and how I could dig and stand -- and I jumped up and wanted to shout out something to anything that would listen.'

"'Th' Magic listened when tha' sung th' Doxology. It would ha' listened to anything tha'd sung. It was th' joy that mattered. Eh! lad, lad -- what's names to th' Joy Maker,' and she gave his shoulder a quick soft pat again."

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911), pp. 239-240.

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