#2372: Willa Cather to Elizabeth Cather Ickis, January 19, 1942

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Elizabeth1:

I can't tell you how much pleasure I have had from your Christmas cards this year,; and especially the one from little Margaret5 delighted me.. It makes me want to go right down to New Mexico6, and it makes me very much want to see my little grandniece. Everything I heard about her from her adoring relatives interests me so much, and makes me wish to see her. I have several times been tempted to write you letters of "advice" about getting the right books for her (you know aunts always love to give advice). I shall love to send her some myself, if ever I can find the sort I like best. For one thing, I do hope you are teaching her Mother Goose rhymes7. I had forgotten how much I liked them myself until a few days ago when I was having tea with Yehudi's8 little Mira9, aged one year and four months. She carries her Mother Goose around with her and although she can not repeat the rhymes very plainly (baby speech yet), she clapped her hands with joy when I repeated a whole string of them, and she kept begging for more. I found I remembered a great many, though I have not had much practice of late years.

I think in the slums of the East side I might be able to find "Three Little Kittens" or "Jack and the Bean Stalk" with big colored pictures, such as I had when I was little. The good book stores have only things that are whimsical and new-arty10. Do you think Margaret is old enough to understand "Grimm's Fairy Tales"11? I saw a nice edition at Brentano's with Bruce Crane's12 delightful illustrations13 – some pictures that were in the book your father14 and I used to read when we were little, but older than your Margaret is now. Please tell me some of the books and stories she likes best. I wish I could get "The Three Bears" in rhyme for her. I can still remember a good deal of it. I think rhymes are splendid for children – train their ear and really start a liking for poetry. It's ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩almost as natural for children to like rhymes as to like candy. I do not think much of "instructive" books for youngsters before they begin to go to school.

I often think about your dear little girl and what fun she must be for you, and I am sure that some day I will make her acquaintance in person. A world of love to you dear, and a Happy New Year.

With happy memories of golden days15 at Grand Manan16

Your loving Aunt Willie
FROM CATHER
570 PARK AVE.3, NEW YORK CITY2
1835 Noble Rd. #22 Mrs. Lynn Sherman Ichis,1 135 North Noble16221 Greyton Road, not for E. C.
1236
East Cleveland,4 Ohio.
NEW YORK, N.Y.2 JAN 22 1942 2 PM
EAST CLEVELAND, OHIO4 JAN 26 1942 12–M