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Holly’s Eyes

THE LETTER THAT LED TO THE STORY January 2007 Margaret Noel St. John’s Newfoundland Dear Mr. Munsch I guess I should start by introducing myself, my name is Margaret Noel and I have loved your books for over 20 years. While I was attending Memorial University, I was doing a course in Children's Literature and it was there that I discovered your work. The very first book I read was "The Paper Bag Princess" and that was it, I was hooked. My oldest nephew is now 21, but was about 3 at the time, and I raced out to buy him whatever books by you I could find. His favourite was "Mortimer." Anyway the end result was your books became a family favourite and have been passed down through 6 grandkids, the three youngest are ages 4, 7, and 8. This is why I am writing you today. I want to tell you about my niece Holly. Holly has developed a condition I like to call, "Munschmaditis." She is mad about your stories. Let me give you an example, she wanted to get the new Webkins love puppy, but she also wanted to get your book "Class Clown". Her mom told her she had to choose because she could only have one or the other. Holly choose your book. Now if you are familiar at all with Webkins, you will understand that choosing a book over the Webkins is HUGE!!!! This will tell you where you stand in order of importance to Holly. (She did get her love puppy in the end as well.) Let me tell you a little bit about Holly. She is 8 years old and in Grade 3 at Larkhall Academy. She loves to draw, to paint and to make things. Holly is visually impaired. She has a rare genetic eye condition, which leaves her without depth perception and legally blind in bright light. She is the good will ambassador for the local branch of the CNIB and is the poster child for their current fundraising campaign. Holly has to wear an eye patch for 4 hours everyday, which she hates. (This is to strengthen the vision in her weaker eye) The chalk board that hangs on the wall in her kitchen read, "My patches stink!" She has been pretty creative when it comes to getting out of wearing them; her favourite trick is to hide the box of patches. We have taken to drawing on the patches to make them fun for her to wear. I drew Scar, from The Lion King, and my fiancé drew Sponge Bob and Danny Phantom. Holly was so excited that she changed the chalk board to "My patches rock!"

It was big news when the eye store opened up! Aunt Margaret went down immediately and spent lots of money on spider’s eyes because she wanted to be the very first person in St. John’s to get new eyes. The spider eyes looked a bit strange in her face and everyone was very upset because Aunt Margaret started hanging from the roof and eating flies.


Holly knew that Aunt Margaret was really strange and had been eating flies for a long time!

So Holly decided to check out the eye store herself, because she was really tired of having to wear an eye patch all the time, especially at school when kids teased her about it..

The lady at the store looked at Holly and said, “I suppose you want some nice fresh brown eyes?”

“My eyes don’t work right” said Holly “I want something that works!”

“Well of course” said the lady “We have brown eyes and blue eyes and yellow eyes and purple eyes and people eyes and cat’s eyes and bird eyes and snake eyes and fish eyes and spider eyes. You probably want regular brown people eyes and I can tell you right now that we don’t have any in your size”.

“Fine”, said Holly, “I have been thinking for a long time about new eyes and I don’t mind having something different and special as long as they work right.”

“Oh good”, said the lady. “All we have in your size is purple cat’s eyes. You will look wonderful with cat’s eyes.”

“Great”, said Holly, “I would even not mind having spider’s eye’s as long as they worked.”

“Don’t bet on it.”, said the lady, “We have had a lot of complaints about spiders eyes, but since you ask, I can get you spider eyes for really, really cheap.”

“No thanks” said Holly “Cat’s will be strange enough.”

So Holly paid for the eyes; seven weeks allowance. It was quite an investment. Then the lady took out Holly’s old eyes quite quickly and with a minimum of fuss.

“AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” yelled Holly.

In went the Purple Cat Eyes.

“AHHHHHHHHHH!!!” “AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” “AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” yelled Holly and she ran around the store 17 times. When she finally stopped running around and screaming, she could see things in a cat sort of way.

“NEAT!” said Holly “I can really see!”

“Wonderful” said the eye lady “And do you want to eat rats?”

“No” said Holly.

“Good!” said the lady “I think the operation is a success!”

Holly walked home. She looked at chocolate bars and flowers and sunsets and especially cats and mice. The cats looked perfect and the mice looked delicious. It was very late when Holly got home and looked at her mother’s face.

“You look” said Holly “Not quite hairy enough and your eye’s are all wrong. Your lack of a tail is very disturbing but you are still my mother and you can lick me if you want to.”

“Oh Dear!” said Holly’s mother “I see you’ve been to the eye store. Just yesterday Aunt Margaret got a special on spider’s eyes. She came home and started eating flies. Now she hangs from the dining room chandelier and won’t come down. Are you sure that your cat’s eyes will not make you eat rats?”

“Actually” said Holly “I am sort of thinking that a rat would taste good as long as I ate it raw and was careful to bite the head of first.”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” yelled Holly’s mother, and she took Holly back to the eye store.

“I am upset” said Holly “because I want to eat rats and marry a boy cat. These cat’s eyes are more trouble than they are worth.”

“I was afraid of that” said the lady “We will have to put something else in your head.

How about nice dog eyes?”

“NO!” said Holly.

“How about dragonfly eyes?” “Really different!”

“NO!” said Holly.

“How about fly eyes?” “Really cheap!”

“NO!” said Holly.

“How about fish eyes?” “Really great for swimming!”

“NO!” said Holly.

“How about Owl eyes?” “Great for night time!”

“NO! NO! NO!” said Holly “I want my old eyes back. They did not work well but at least they did not mess up my brain.”

“Oh All Right!” said the lady, and she switched eyes so fast that Holly did not have time to scream.

They Holly’s mother said “How about a nice bloody rat for dinner?”

“Yuck!” said Holly, but she did have her mother draw an excellent picture of a dead rat on her eye patch the next morning.

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