Anne of Avonlea
Davy in Search of a Sensation
Anne, walking home from school through the Birch Path one November afternoon, felt
convinced afresh that life was a very wonderful thing. The day had been a good day; all
had gone well in her little kingdom. St. Clair Donnell had not fought any of the other
boys over the question of his name; Prillie Rogerson's face had been so puffed up from
the effects of toothache that she did not once try to coquette with the boys in her
vicinity. Barbara Shaw had met with only ONE accident . . . spilling a dipper of water
over the floor . . . and Anthony Pye had not been in school at all.
"What a nice month this November has been!" said Anne, who had never quite got over
her childish habit of talking to herself. "November is usually such a disagreeable month .
. . as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing
but weep and fret over it. This year is growing old gracefully . . . just like a stately old
lady who knows she can be charming even with gray hair and wrinkles. We've had
lovely days and delicious twilights. This last fortnight has been so peaceful, and even
Davy has been almost well-behaved. I really think he is improving a great deal. How
quiet the woods are today . . . not a murmur except that soft wind purring in the
treetops! It sounds like surf on a faraway shore. How dear the woods are! You beautiful
trees! I love every one of you as a friend."
Anne paused to throw her arm about a slim young birch and kiss its cream-white trunk.
Diana, rounding a curve in the path, saw her and laughed.
"Anne Shirley, you're only pretending to be grown up. I believe when you're alone you're
as much a little girl as you ever were."
"Well, one can't get over the habit of being a little girl all at once," said Anne gaily. "You
see, I was little for fourteen years and I've only been grown-uppish for scarcely three.
I'm sure I shall always feel like a child in the woods. These walks home from school are
almost the only time I have for dreaming . . . except the half-hour or so before I go to
sleep. I'm so busy with teaching and studying and helping Marilla with the twins that I
haven't another moment for imagining things. You don't know what splendid adventures
I have for a little while after I go to bed in the east gable every night. I always imagine
I'm something very brilliant and triumphant and splendid . . . a great prima donna or a
Red Cross nurse or a queen. Last night I was a queen. It's really splendid to imagine
you are a queen. You have all the fun of it without any of the inconveniences and you
can stop being a queen whenever you want to, which you couldn't in real life. But here
in the woods I like best to imagine quite different things . . . I'm a dryad living in an old
pine, or a little brown wood-elf hiding under a crinkled leaf. That white birch you caught
me kissing is a sister of mine. The only difference is, she's a tree and I'm a girl, but
that's no real difference. Where are you going, Diana?"