"THE LONG, LONG LETTER" by Elizabeth Spurr


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Aunt Hetta is lonely. She lives too far from town for friends, and her kith and kin haven't written. By her mailbox she pines, then fires off a postcard to her sister. ""Have you quite forgotten me?"" suggests Hetta, ladling on the guilt. So the sister spends a year penning a long letter that requires a thousand stamps to post: ""She wrote of cabbages and crocuses, sausages and shoes. The newly born, the price of corn, the cranking phone she'd never use."" As the massive missive is being trundled to its destination, a fierce wind blows the pages skyward. Now airmail, the letter falls to earth like snow, burying Hetta. The whole town turns out to rescue her from the storm of words and Hetta gains a gaggle of new friends. Spurr (The Gumdrop Tree, 1994, etc.) lets the sister's son narrate this paean to the lost art of letter writing in a rollicking, tongue-in-cheek style. Catrow teases the story for all its humor, at one point turning Hetta into a raptor as she keeps ""a hawk's watch"" on her letterbox. A jolly tall tale.

Pub Date: April 8th, 1996
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Hyperion