DON'T TAKE TEDDY by Babbis Friis-Baastad
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What we'd always dreaded at home. . .had happened at last. Teddy had done something really wrong. He'd harmed someone."" And afraid that his mentally defective older brother will be taken away by the police, thirteen-year-old Mikkel takes Teddy himself and runs away to their uncle's cottage on a mountaintop. The stares and nudges and smirks and indignation of their fellow passengers on bus and trolley and train; the excruciating difficulty of concealing Teddy and cajoling him to climb the mountain; the relief and exhaustion of arriving safely which turns to hysteria when Teddy becomes painfully, screamingly sick--all this is told by Mikkel in an interior monologue of such affectiveness and mounting intensity that the reader is left limp. The denouement is a sensible solution but an emotional manipulation: to the horror of Mikkel who thinks his brother is being abandoned, Teddy is entered in a school for mental defectives--but, it is revealed suddenly that he will be a day student living at home, and talk turns to ways of helping mental defectives generally. As she demonstrated in Kristy's Courage(1965), Mrs. Friis-Bastad has unusual skill in depicting subtle appreciation of the qualities of a mental defective and his importance to his family. This needs introduction but it will be remembered.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1967
Publisher: Scribners