Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Advent Book Quiz Day 18

Day eighteen of our festive quiz

Another children's classic today.

Identify the author and title and submit your answer as a comment. Closing date is 1st January. The answers and winner will be announced on 3rd January. 



When they had finished decorating it, the old room looked more like the Knight's Hall than ever. Against the stone walls, on top of the stone chimney-piece, the dark green leaves themselves looked mediaeval. It was an ancient castle prepared for an ancient feast. When Tolly was handing up great bunches to Mrs Oldknow on the steps, it often seemed to him not so heavy as he expected, as if someone were helping him. 'Did they do this?' he asked.
'Yes, they always decorated the house, but they didn't have a Christmas tree. Christmas trees began much later, in England at any rate. They had their feast in our dining-room, which their father had altered and improved. It was he who had our big fireplace put in, and the big windows on to the garden. And it was their mother who first used this as a music room. She used to teach them some of the songs that I teach you.'
It was late afternoon before they finished the Christmas tree, and it was growing dark. They lit the old red Chinese lantern and many candles so that they could see to work. There were no glaring electric bulbs on this tree. Mrs Oldknow had boxes of coloured glass ornaments, each wrapped separately in tissue paper and put carefully away from year to year. Some were very old and precious indeed. There were glass balls, stars, fir-cones, acorns and bells in all colours and sizes.There were also silver medallions of angels. Of course the most beautiful star was fixed at the very top, with gold and silver suns and stars beneath and around it. Each glass treasure, as light as an eggshell and as brittle, was hung on a loop of black cotton that had to be coaxed over the prickly fingers of the tree. Tolly took them carefully out of their tissue paper and Mrs Oldknow hung them up. The tiny glass bell-clappers tinkled when a branch was touched. When it was all finished, there were no lights on the tree itself, but the candles in the room were reflected in each glass bauble on it, and seemed in those soft deep colours to be shining from an immense distance away, as if the tree were a cloudy night sky full of stars. They sat down together to look at their work. Tolly thought it so beautiful he could say nothing, he could hardly believe his eyes. 

3 comments:

  1. The Children Of Greenknowe, Lucy M. Boston

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lucy Boston - The Children of Green Knowe

    We LOVE this book!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Children of Green Knowe by L M Boston

    ReplyDelete

Can't make it along the street for a chat? Leave us a comment instead, we love hearing from you.