Tag Archives: Peter Pan

Excerpt from “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie ~~Flight~~

picture-PeterPan-Barrie‘It’s all right,’ John announced, emerging from his hiding-place. ‘I say, Peter, can you really fly?’
Instead of troubling to answer him Peter flew round the room, taking the mantelpiece on the way.
‘How topping!’ said John and Michael.
‘How sweet!’ cried Wendy.
‘Yes, I’m sweet, oh, I am sweet!’ said Peter, forgetting his manners again.
It looked delightfully easy, and they tried it first from the floor and then from the beds, but they always went down instead of up.
‘I say, how do you do it?’ asked John, rubbing his knee. He was quite a practical boy.
‘You just think lovely wonderful thoughts,’ Peter explained, ‘and they lift you up in the air.’
He showed them again.
‘You’re so nippy at it,’ John said; ‘couldn’t you do it very slowly once?’
Peter did it both slowly and quickly. ‘I’ve got it now, Wendy!’ cried John, but soon he found he had not. Not one of them could fly an inch, though even Michael was in words of two syllables, and Peter did not know A from Z.
Of course Peter had been trifling with them, for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him. Fortunately, as we have mentioned, one of his hands was messy with it, and he blew some on each of them, with the most superb results.
‘Now just wiggle your shoulders this way,’ he said, ‘and let go.’
They were all on their beds, and gallant Michael let go first. He did not quite mean to let go, but he did it, and immediately he was borne across the room.
‘I flewed!’ he screamed while still in mid-air.
John let go and met Wendy near the bathroom.
‘Oh, lovely!’
‘Oh, ripping!’
‘Look at me!’
‘Look at me!’
‘Look at me!’
They were not nearly so elegant as Peter, they could not help kicking a little, but their heads were bobbing against the ceiling, and there is almost nothing so delicious as that. Peter gave Wendy a hand at first, but had to desist, Tink was so indignant.
Up and down they went, and round and round. Heavenly was Wendy’s word.
‘I say,’ cried John, ‘why shouldn’t we all go out!’
Of course it was to this that Peter had been luring them.
Michael was ready: he wanted to see how long it took him to do a billion miles. But Wendy hesitated.
‘Mermaids!’ said Peter again.
‘Oo!’
‘And there are pirates.’
‘Pirates,’ cried John, seizing his Sunday hat, ‘let us go at once.’
It was just at this moment that Mr. and Mrs. Darling hurried with Nana out of 27. They ran into the middle of the street to look up at the nursery window; and, yes, it was still shut, but the room was ablaze with light, and most heart-gripping sight of all, they could see in shadow on the curtain three little figures in night attire circling round and round, not on the floor but in the air.
Not three figures, four!
In a tremble they opened the street door. Mr. Darling would have rushed upstairs, but Mrs. Darling signed to him to go softly. She even tried to make her heart go softly.
Will they reach the nursery in time? If so, how delightful for them, and we shall all breathe a sign of relief, but there will be no story. On the other hand, if they are not in time, I solemnly promise that it will all come right in the end.
They would have reached the nursery in time had it not been that the little stars were watching them. Once again the stars blew the window open, and that smallest star of all called out:
‘Cave, Peter!’
Then Peter knew that there was not a moment to lose. ‘Come,’ he cried imperiously, and soared out at once into the night, followed by John and Michael and Wendy.
Mr. and Mrs. Darling and Nana rushed into the nursery too late. The birds were flown.

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Excerpt from “The Little White Bird” by J. M. Barrie ~~Lock-out~~

But, mind you, though Peter was so slow in going back to his mother, he was quite decided to go back. The best proof of this was his caution with the fairies. They were most anxious that he should remain in the Gardens to play to them, and to bring this to pass they tried to trick him into making such a remark as “I wish the grass was not so wet,” and some of them danced out of time in the hope that he might cry, “I do wish you would keep time!” Then they would have said that this was his second wish. But he smoked their design, and though on occasions he began, “I wish—” he always stopped in time. So when at last he said to them bravely, “I wish now to go back to mother for ever and always,” they had to tickle his shoulders and let him go.

He went in a hurry in the end, because he had dreamt that his mother was crying, and he knew what was the great thing she cried for, and that a hug from her splendid Peter would quickly make her to smile. Oh, he felt sure of it, and so eager was he to be nestling in her arms that this time he flew straight to the window, which was always to be open for him.

But the window was closed, and there were iron bars on it, and peering inside he saw his mother sleeping peacefully with her arm round another little boy.

Peter called, “Mother! mother!” but she heard him not; in vain he beat his little limbs against the iron bars. He had to fly back, sobbing, to the Gardens, and he never saw his dear again. What a glorious boy he had meant to be to her! Ah, Peter, we who have made the great mistake, how differently we should all act at the second chance. But Solomon was right; there is no second chance, not for most of us. When we reach the window it is Lock-out Time. The iron bars are up for life.

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