Four Storybook Friends

Who are my “fictional best friends”? This meme was going around some time back, and got me thinking about “The Top Ten Characters I’d Like to Be Friends With.” I don’t aspire to be Best Friends — that’s too big an idea — but to be A Friend is something I would consider. You see, not being a People Person, I don’t really feel like taking on ten more friends with problems, which book characters always must have, preferably a few of them in order for it to be a good book.

But these characters came to mind:

1. Harold of the Harold and the Purple Crayon because he is so creative and resourceful in his solutions for all the predicaments he gets into, and I’d like to go with him on his adventures. I would never tire of watching him draw whatever he wants, so quickly and easily. When he goes to bed he even draws the moon out the window so I know we think alike.

2. Natty Bumpo of the Leatherstocking Tales. He is a real gentleman, but not a fussy one. He would have wonderful tales to tell and philosophizing to do as we took long walks in the woods, and I’d be perfectly safe with him, as he is pretty much king of the forest and could protect me from any Indians or wild animals, and trap or hunt for all the meat we could want.

3. Kristin of Kristin Lavransdatter only because she seems to badly need a good woman friend. Besides her mother, who isn’t even nearby to have a chat with, I can’t see that she has one female friend in the whole three novels about her life. I wonder, if I were her friend, if I could make any positive difference in the drama? I know it would be a lot of work, but in her world I think I could do it. Back then I wouldn’t have all the stresses pulling me away from home so I would have more emotional resources to give to Kristin.

4. Winnie-the-Pooh would be a good friend to have for the times when you just wanted to throw sticks over the bridge or sit around eating condensed milk and thinking deeply about thoughts that other people don’t even bother having. He and I would understand each other.

I haven’t given a lot of thought to this, maybe because I have so many real friends whom I’m already neglecting enough that I somewhat begrudge the time looking for imaginary others. And when I do bring to mind the sort of characters I have met in books, for the most part I’m quite content to let them live their lives without me, as I have more enjoyable ones right here.

12 thoughts on “Four Storybook Friends

  1. I had to smile when I read what you said about Kristin. I remember thinking the same thing when I read those books–“She needs a good woman friend!” I think it would have made a difference! 🙂

    Susan

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  2. I like your creative and imaginary friends. A really nice post. My favorites were Heidi; Laura and her sisters on “Little House on the Prairie” and Nancy Drew. I still love picture books, too. I haven't read Kristin, but it looks very interesting.

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  3. I love this post! You made me realize that all my life, probably because I am so shy, most of my best friends have been not only fictional characters but also the writers who wrote them: Sylvia Townsend Warner who created the character Lolly Willowes, for example: I love them both. In fact, my best friends may well have been my favorite writers. And words, too. A sentence here, a whole paragraph there, a poem, and many whole books from beginning to end. You give me much to think about, about myself, fiction, and writers. I love to settle down to re-read a beloved book. But real people! They are a little frightening to me, I'm afraid, and not just strangers. I don't know what to expect of anyone, what will they say, what will they do. I can't “close the cover” and pick up another one the way I can with books. I could probably live very happily inside a library for the rest of my life! xo Kari

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  4. Great post! I love that Harold too and who could not want Pooh for a friend? I would also love being friends with all of Beatrix Potter's animals….Hunca Munca, Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle Duck and all the rest.

    Jody

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  5. what a lovely thing to ponder. When I first saw your topic my first thought was Winnie the Pooh. Since I'm rather Eeyore-like I need a friend who will stick by me and bring me some sunshine.

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