Posts Tagged ‘Cheshire cat’

          “I want there to be no peasant so poor in my realm that he will not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” – Henry IV (1553-1610)

          I grew up knowing where food came from. My grandmother raised pigs, chickens and rabbits, had an apricot and a peach tree from which jam was made, and a large vegetable garden, the produce of which my mother and grandmother preserved to see us through the winter.

We ate well all week, but Sunday dinner was always special, and it began with my grandmother wringing the head of a chicken, which would then spasm around on the ground for a bit before joining its passed-on kin. .

The dead bird would then be dropped into a bucket of boiling water for a few minutes before its feathers were plucked out. Once that was done, the bird was cut into pieces, dipped in a seasoned egg, milk and flour mixture and fried until they had a golden-brown crispy exterior and a juicy interior.

I’ve never tasted better fried chicken, so delicious it would turn the Colonel and Popeye green with envy.


Cat No. 11: Alice’s Loony Cheshire

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining

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“Slowly, the grin disappeared, until nothing was left but the cat. This is nearly as scary as the other way around.” — From Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” 

Disney's version of the Cheshire Cat

Travels With Maggie

Early last night I was riding in the car with my granddaughter, Jennifer, and her best friend, Ellen. I had spent the afternoon with the two of them at their home in Temple, Texas, and they were driving me back to my RV in Harker Heights.

 As I looked up at the night sky, I saw the glowing grin of a Cheshire cat. Jennifer and Ellen saw it too. And if you were looking up at the sky last night you probably also saw it. But only if your imagination allowed a glowing sliver of crescent moon to morph into the smile of Lewis Caroll’s fictional cat. Its smile followed us during the entire 30-minute journey.

How John Tenniel envisioned the Cheshire Cat

 Later, as I’m apt to do when I’ve seen something interesting in my travels, I did a bit of research to learn more. My mind, however, was not on phases of the moon but on the cat.

The grin I remembered was a Disney creation. I thought it captured, in a Pollyannish way, the mischievousness of Carroll’s disappearing cat. I saw that the original cat, as envisioned by John Tenniel in the 1860 “Alice in Wonderland” publication, had a more wicked appearance.

Good old Wikipedia said one of Carrol’s inspirations for the cat might have been a smiling gargoyle pillar in St. Nicolas Church in Cranleigh. Looking at a photo of the gargoyle, I saw the resemblance.

St. Nicolas Church gargoyle that might have been Lewis Carroll's inspiration for the Cheshire cat

My research then took me to Cranleigh, about which I knew nothing. I discovered it was a large village in England and that St. Nicolas Church with the gargoyle head is still there, as is a crane-adorned fountain built in 1874.

 Imagination and arm-chair travel: What a great way to spend an evening, When I finally turned out the lights and curled up next to my dog, Maggie, I took one last look out the vent above my bed to see that the moon was still wearing its Cheshire cat grin.

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