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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 06:56:15 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Santa's magic

Roy wrote:
>Now, we both know that the "heavy, square package with its ribbons and
>trimmings somewhat crushed and flattened" (24) that grandpa showed Den just
>after midnight contained a book. Den and his mother arrived on Christmas
>Eve, having traveled by train. Della's Christmas shopping had been done in
>advance; the package trimmings got flattened from being packed for the trip.
>Della bought the book, as evidenced by the fact that she knew that "Santa"
>might bring Den one (21).
>Are you seriously suggesting that the book Della bought for Den is not the
>"weighty book, bound in green buckram" that Den unwrapped on Christmas
>morning? That Santa Claus came down the chimney and switched books? **That
>Della didn't notice the switch?**

Yep, that's the book switch as I see it.  The book exterior looks exactly
like the book that Della bought, and it is in the same squished box that
she wrapped it in.  Since I don't think that Della actually read the entire
book before purchasing it, that is about as far as her detective powers
could take her.

The book Della bought might even have been Lang's THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK,
since Weer mentions this title early on, and since the stories (and the
illos!) seem like they come from a Lang anthology, and, not the least, the
title has that "green" in it.  But I have read Lang's THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK
(and I've overturned a few children's libraries unsuccessfully looking for
those two stories -- sorry kids, I'm on a quest) and I'm certain that
Weer's book is not Lang's.

(I suspect the green book has the Paul Bunyon story in it, too.  Weer only
mentions it in passing in the episode of hiking to the cave.)

Weer, beginning writer, is basically a reporter like his aunt Bella, he is
not a forger like Lou Gold.  He did not invent those green book stories, he
read them.

>And if Santa made the switch, then he had to have
>made a second visit to the Elliot home after Den and grandpa went to bed.
>Santa just doesn't have time for that kind of thing! And the nerve of that
>old elf, to go playing tricks like that on decent people, switching gifts
>that he didn't even bring!

Well, technically I think that Santa had not been there yet when grampa
said he had, so Santa only made one trip.  As for the time it takes, well,
if a body isn't entirely physical, if one does not have to park the sleigh,
grab the bag, crawl down the narrow soot-chute, et cetera, then it goes a
lot quicker!

(LOL, the "okay lumberjack" ref.  I was trying to work an imaginary "Lang's
THE PLAID FAIRY BOOK" into the text above, but these . . . suspenders I'm
wearing are so distracting.)



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