Sunday, March 16, 2008

Maggie Muggins

Do you remember "Maggie Muggins"? It was one of my all-time favourite stories as a child. It was a chapter book, and at the end of each chapter there was a little "tra la, la la, la la, la" with a rhyming word based on the story. The very last sentence in each chapter was the famous "I don't know what will happen tomorrow."

The perfect way to end a story and send a little one off to sleep...dreaming and anticipating. I always BEGGED for just one more story...but the rules were firm...not until tomorrow. This was sacred time that I spent with my father and as much as I wanted another story, I wanted him to stay, seated on the side of my bed, spinning tales. I loved his company.

I don't know where the original books that I had have ended up, but I've been searching through antique shops and book stores far and wide, and finally came across the very one I'd been looking for. The inside of the cover of my first edition 1952 copy,says:

About the Author

She was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in a small white house, on a wide green street. Her name is Mary Evelyn Grannan.Mary has always like stories. When she was little she listened to them. When she was middle-sized she read them,and now that she's big she writes them.

She went to St. Dunstands School in her home town, to Teachers' College, and special courses at Columbia University in new York, and Vesper George School of Art in Boston.

She taught school in New Brunswick until she joined the staff of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto, where she is now.

Mary's hobbies are Books, Theatre, Circus, Radio and Television.

Maggie came to mind this morning as I was feeling particularly 'blocked'. I feel as though I can't start anything as I am about to embark on yet another whirlwind voyage, this time to the west coast. When I get creative I get very very messy! I am visually stimulated which is why I live with so much clutter all around me. I like to see my stuff...or I forget about it. This used to drive my son, in particular, absolutely crazy. He's a minimalist.

I have project after project to complete, to start, my mind goes wild. Then I think, well, I could just do one in my studio, and one on the dining room table with the sun shining in....this all involves everything, everywhere. Where to start, which one would leave the least impact? I should be packing.

When Maggie Muggins got in a jam like this she'd always dance down the garden path to good old Mr. McGarrity's garden, where he would always be found leaning on his red-handled hoe. Mr. McGarrity can always think of something to do and he knows all about nature, friendship, forgiveness and most of all empowerment to little girls. Through Maggie's adventures with Big Bite Beaver, Fitzgerald the piano playing Fieldmouse, and Southern Belle, Petunia Possum there was no end of musicality in both lyric and accent. As Maggie hopped on one foot around Mr. McGarrity and his hoe, together they always came up with a splendid idea for a day of imagination.

Perhaps something creative on a small scale will do for today. St. Patrick's Day is upon us, Easter is nearing....How about Beatrix Potter??? Something small...tags...ooh la la.

I may just hear Mr. McGarrity laughing and saying "All in all Leslie Jane, you've had quite a day." And I'll say..."Yes sir, because tra la, la la, la la, la May, I think I've found a way to play!
I don't know what will happen tomorrow."


  1. Wasn't Maggie Muggins also a T.V. show? I seem to remember her as a little girl who always wore her red hair in beautiful braids. She is definitely a fond memory.
    Thank you for that.

  2. Maggie Muggins sounds a bit like our Anne of Greeen Gables who is having a celebration as we speak.I like the idea of an unconventional girl capturing the imagination of a generation. This theme can help girls re-invent themselves outside of the borders of our consumeristic and navel gazing themes. Oh to thrive by engaging with an authentic self!!!

  3. Was just thinking of Maggie and her comment "I don't know what will happen tomorrow!" It's a sweet memory in time!