If he were alive today, Charles Ingalls would shudder in his Lean-to, shake his head and remark, "Caroline, it's best we move west past the prairie. It's become too crowded in these parts."
On this fateful morning, Walnut Grove careened headlong into the perils of over-development. The quintessential Mom and Pop shop, Olsen's General Store, disappeared under the shadows of Geotrax monstrosities. The fresh clean air that once ruled the prairie skies sunk under the stench of the stinky Sodor diesels.
And what dastardly, earth-ravaging real estate mogul was behind this? Yep, that's him, right there in the construction orange shirt, skipping across the intersection of the little Lincoln Log cabins and the tiny train tracks.
You must trust me when I say our intentions were much purer than the China-born plastic surrounding the reconstructed Walnut Grove. We just wanted to stay in our pajamas and out of the car, to give the TV a rest and awaken our imaginations. And that's just what we did.
It was the most productive un-productive day I've had in a long time.
If you're wondering why I'm suddenly spewing forth 19th century prairie life references, it might help to know that we recently began reading The Little House on the Prairie.
We're just far enough into the story to have established that Pet and Patty are horses and Jack is a dog. Caed was understandably concerned about the little boy he envisioned running behind the wagon and getting lost in the ford. Why in the blazes wouldn't Pa let the little boy sit in the wagon? I was tempted to tell him a story about how much easier his life is than it was for little boys back in the olden days, but I came clean and admitted that Jack is a dog.
I'm surprised by how interested Caed has become in a book so sparsely illustrated, and it excites me to realize we have a whole world of literature awaiting us.
So tell me, what was your favorite book to read aloud to your children? Or what book are you reading to them now? Or what was your favorite book as a child? What should we read after we finish Little House on the Prairie and The Magician's Nephew?