Friday, May 18, 2012

Rousing Midge

One of my favourite features of the Susan stories are the ploys Susan uses to get Midge out of bed in the morning (or in the middle of the night if it's for one of their nocturnal excursions). At the beginning of Susan Pulls the Strings, after just one night in Wichwood, Susan amazes the Carmichaels by getting Midge downstairs in time for breakfast. How this was done is not explained, the text merely stating that "Susan set to work on her". However, as the series developed, a number of amusing ways were found to drag the reluctant Midge out of her peaceful slumber. My particular favourite is in Susan Muddles Through, when a cold wet sponge is used. In Susan Rushes In, when the cousins are going to collect mulberry leaves from the gallery across the street to save Pea-green's stolen silk worms from starvation, Susan shines a torch beam into Midge's eyes until she wakes up. In Where is Susan? the ploy is to just keep talking and bombarding Midge with questions until she is obliged to haul herself out of bed. In Susan's Trying Term, when Gabrielle breaks the school rules by sneaking out to the fair, Susan appeals to her cousin's conscience, warning her that this could mean Charlotte losing her coveted position as head of the house and being replaced by Hermione Pennington-Smith. Whatever tactic is used, rousing Midge always provides a comic moment in the stories.