Interview your favorite fictional character.



(On any given day, my favorite fictional character will be different than it was the day  before. This one came to mind because I was sorting through my books yesterday and spent some time leafing through The Suncatcher by Jamie Langston Turner.)

Me:  Eldeen, it’s such a pleasure to meet you.  I’ve read each book that you’re in, and loved them all.

Eldeen:  Why, thank you, honey!  I’m just so pleased that anyone would want to interview me!  I’m just a nobody.  Can’t imagine what I have to say that anyone would want to hear.  Say, did you know that the grocery store down the street has a special bin of books on sale?  All kinds of books!  If you have grandchildren, honey, you could pick up some real bargains in children’s story books.  Why, there’s even this one about some creature called a Gruffalo!  Have you ever heard of such a thing–

Me:  Eldeen,  I appreciate your telling me about the sale.  But right now I’d like to talk about you.  Can you tell me how you got your unusual name?

E:  Why, Honey, that’s easy!  It’s “Needle”  only backwards!  See, my mamma did this with all us kids.  She’d take whatever she was  doing and see how it looked backwards, and that’s how we all got our names.  See, if she was knitting, she’d take the word KNIT and it became TINK!  Isn’t that fun?  Nobody else has names like we do, that’s for sure. How did you get your name?  Linda, right?  That’s such a pretty name!  I have lots of friends about your age who are all called Linda, so it must have been real popular when you were born.  I bet you were born right after World War II, right, because—-

Me:That sure was creative of your mama, to come up with your names that way.  Now, Eldeen, you’re pretty well known all over town.  Can you tell me how that happened?

E:  I am?  You don’t say! Why, Honey, I don’t rightly know how that happened, if it’s really true!  I just try to live my life the way Jesus said, to love Him above all, and then to love others the way I love myself.  You know, I’ve thought about that many times.  Jesus said we’re to love others as we love ourselves, and that seems to me to point out that we DO love ourselves, in spite of all this stuff we hear about low self-esteem and all that. Why, Honey, I’m just too busy to be bothered worrying about my self-esteem—

Me:  Well, Eldeen, I’ve heard some stories about the kinds of things you do to help others.  Cleaning their houses, helping with yard work, taking meals and babysitting the children.  People love you here.  Is that why you do it? So people will love you?

E: (Eldeen looked at me blankly, as if she didnt understand what I’d asked her.  Then a huge smile split her face in half, and she let out a gravelly shout of laughter.)  Why, Honey, goodness no!  I do it because I love Jesus, and I love His people! Why, doing for others is just what happens when you love the Lord! Why, my goodness, I never worry about whether or not people love me for what I do.  That would be just silly, now, wouldn’t it?  After all, if a body can’t love unless someone is doing for her, then that’s not the real kind of love, is it?  After all–

Me:  So, Eldeen, you’re saying that all the helpful things you do are out of your love for God?

E:  Why, sure, honey, and just the pure joy of knowing you’ve done something to help someone who needs it.  Why, I remember a time when my mama—-

Me:  Eldeen, I notice that you wear some rather, um, unusual outfits.  Can you talk to me about how you dress?

E:  (I got the blank look again, and then the huge raspy laugh. This time, she slapped her knees and roared until tears trickled down her cheeks.)  Why, Honey, I just pull on whatever comes to hand, and as long as I’m decently covered I figure that’s all that matters.  I wear my rubber galoshes most of the time ’cause it rains a lot in these parts, and I’m always prepared. And I wear my old hat for the same reason.  I’ll just never understand these silly young girls who go around in not much more than their underwear, getting all squealy and running for shelter whenever a thundercloud opens up.  Then they’re cold and wet and miserable.  Why, I’ve pulled a big old towel out of my purse more than once to let some little chicky dry herself off so she don’t catch her death of foolishness.  Why, I remember one time—-

Me:  About your “purse,” Eldeen.  It’s rather large.  What all do you carry in there?

E:  Why, honey, I carry whatever I figure I’m going to need for that day when I’m out and about.  I try to always put in a few sandwiches for the poor folks who don’t have enought to eat, and I put some toys in there for little kids  with big, hungry eyes.  I carry my big old Bible in there, and some paper hankies, and oh, I don’t know, just lots of useful stuff.  What all do you carry in your teeny little pocketbook?  Why, you couldn’t hardly get a stick of gum in there!  How do you manage without a good-sized bag to get you through the day?  Why, I remember once—

Me:  Eldeen, it’s been very interesting talking with you.  I’m afraid our time is up. ( I began to gather up my things, preparing to leave, when Eldeen said, “Say, Honey, did you have a decent lunch today?  You’re looking awful skinny to me, and I don’t mind saying you could put on a little weight and look healthier.  Here, let me get you a sandwich out of my purse!  I know I’ve got one left from this morning. . . . “)


2 thoughts on “Eldeen

  1. Anne

    You caught me off guard with this. Many rich, thought-provoking, spirit provoking memories from Jamie’s books. It’s been a long time since I’ve read them, and if I reread them, I know I would probably have different moments of reflection and introspection. And I’m not always up to that when life has enough to teach me 🙂 But they are quite the unique escape–every one of them. I did not realize she had a new one, “To See the Moon Again”. I wonder if Eldeen Rafferty is in it to remind us of not-so-easy to accomplish simplicity in her own innocent and bold way 🙂 You’ve interviewed her perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eldeen is not in the latest book. It’s different from the rest, although I’ve found each of her books a little different from all the others. You should read it when you can, but let me warn you: I had to put it down every now and then and just think about it. Small bites. And it’s delightful to me to meet another fan here!


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