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Dear little things (1966)

1966-04-10 Guardian.jpg

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Well, dumb hedgehogs with nothing on them but fleas are one thing, and talking hedgehogs who wear woolly socks are another. But talking hedgehogs who wash their smalls in foaming cuckoo-spit and watch "Dr Who" on television sets made out of pine-cones and snail-shells seem to me very confused little creatures.

Not that television sets play any great part in the life of Dear-littleland. Dearlittleland is a rural slum untouched by the hand of progress. No telephone, nothing made of plastic, scarcely even a motorcar Plenty of dear little trains—steam trains I've never seen an electric or diesel train in Dearlittleland. My children have never seen a steam train anywhere else.

Well, I can see that Dearlittleland stretches the children's imagination beyond the narrow confines of their urban, electrified existence, and that presenting toadstools as tables and so on develops their sense of metaphor. All the same, I'm not sure that it's made much impression on my children's consciousness. When they make up and play stories for themselves they have a quite different locale, and quite different characters.

Human children and their mothers make up the bulk of the dramatis personae, with the Daleks in supporting roles, and sometimes the Prime Minister (I don't know how he got in on the act ; none of my doing, I swear). Buses and cars and unidentified horrible creatures figure prominently, and the story usually requires a great deal of telephoning to be done.

A lot of tea is dispensed, I admit, as at Tweaky Hedgehog's place. But it's not acorns that the teacups are made from—it's old United Dairies yogurt cartons. The teapot is a dear little old plastic detergent dispenser. and the tea is strained through the dear little plastic rose off a dear little toy plastic watering-can. If the Prime Minister's good, he's allowed to drink his tea through a straw. Not a straw made of straw, of course. but a plastic tube which was once part of a dear little toy plastic washing-machine.

Anyway, we're giving them a dear little Prime Minister as a pet next Christmas, so they can really study urban life at close quarters.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Frayn, Michael (1966-04-10). Dear little things. The Guardian .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Frayn, Michael. "Dear little things." The Guardian [add city] 1966-04-10. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Frayn, Michael. "Dear little things." The Guardian, edition, sec., 1966-04-10
  • Turabian: Frayn, Michael. "Dear little things." The Guardian, 1966-04-10, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Dear little things | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dear_little_things | work=The Guardian | pages= | date=1966-04-10 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Dear little things | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Dear_little_things | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=24 November 2017}}</ref>