I never attempted to summon thunder and lightning as a child. But the power of flight? Oh, yes.
Though “Superman” had debuted on TV a couple of years before Mary Martin’s “Peter Pan” did, I’m pretty sure our local TV offerings didn’t include Supes. So I’m pretty sure that my early fantasies of flying came from Peter Pan when I was about six years old. So I never jumped off the roof with a bath-towel cape as those (apocryphal?) injury-prone kids did. My attempts at flight were leaps off our front porch with little danger involved.
“Peter Pan” as a children’s novel was a pretty scary book… what with Mrs. Darling half convinced by Wendy’s claims of nocturnal visitations by a flying boy coming in through a third floor window. As a protective mother, she decided one night to sit at the window to see for herself.
She was startled to sleepy wakefulness by a boy dressed entirely in leaves dropping down from… above. He grinned, showing his teeth.. which she noticed were baby teeth… and snarled ferally.
Yes, I think J. M. Barrie must have been channeling Stephen King when he wrote that. The whole book is brilliant and well worth a re-read as an adult. It’s a complex (and funny!) meditation on childhood and adulthood and all the anxieties and fears peculiar to both.
Sorta like “Wallace the Brave.”
Here endeth the Book Review.
April 15, 2016