Tomorrow I will be the guest of honour at The Bozzy Book club at The Boscawen Inn here in Lunenburg. It is hat day. So very exciting. This means I get to hang out with many children, read one of my favourite stories, Caps For Sale, make paper hats and tell a little tale about a girl that grew up to be a hat maker.
Here’s the story:
Once upon a time there was a little girl from Montreal who moved to Toronto. She had two brothers, one mother and one father and none of them cared for pretty things. But the girl loved all things bright and beautiful. Fortunately, there was no one in this girl’s family to instruct her on what beautiful looked like, so she was able to invent her own rules. She loved big, plastic jewelry, plaid dresses and anything with polka dots, flowers, zig zags or gold. Best of all, she loved hats.
When the girl became a teenager she spent a few years trying to look and behave like all the other girls, but as she grew up she learned that dressing like everyone else was very boring and it made her sad and sleepy.
When the girl turned nineteen she took a train from Toronto to Montreal to visit her favourite aunt who also loved all things beautiful, shiny, polka dotted and Zigzagged. Together, they walked through the streets of Montreal and marveled at all the prettiness. As they walked by a little boutique, the door flung open and they were suctioned into the shop. They were lifted off their feet, flew through the racks of clothing and landed on their bottoms next to a hat stand. There above them was a pink felt hat with a black hat band. The girl rose to her feet, picked up the hat and kissed it. It was love at first sight. She needed to buy that hat. She looked at the price tag. Fourty dollars! She did not have fourty dollars. She replaced the hat on the stand, wiped her tears and returned to her aunt’s home.
That night, the girl went to sleep and dreamed about the pink felt hat. In her dream the hat followed her everywhere. When she awoke she understood that the pink felt hat loved her and wanted to live on her head. She went back to the shop, bought the hat with two week’s of lunch money and hopped on the train back to her home in Toronto.
She felt a little shy to wear such a pretty hat when no one else was wearing one, so she told herself that every Wednesday and Friday would be hat day. At first it was a bit scary, but she soon discovered that on Wednesdays and Fridays everyone was kinder. She decided that Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays would also be hat days. Only now, she did not have enough hats for all the days in the week. So, she bought a new hat and then one more, and another one, until she ran out of money. Seeing that she had no money, but still wanted more hats, the girl learned to make her own.
All day and every day the girl made hats. When she ran out of places to put them all, she sat on the sidewalk with a hat stand made from coat hangers and sold them to passers by. Now many people wore pretty hats and the girl was quite pleased.
This girl is all grown up now, but she still loves to make pretty hats and help make the world a kinder place, where people smile at each other and say, My, what a nice hat you have.