23rd Nov 2017 3:59:30 AM

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The Boy whose Mother was Rain





Auckland Park had a great literary visitor at the start of southern hemisphere Spring 2011. The children of Children of Fire were honoured to meet him. Jose Luis Peixoto is Portugal's most acclaimed, prize-winning novelist. He was accompanied by charity friend, Portuguese First Secretary Pedro Severo de Almeida.
Peixoto, born in a small village in the southern region of Alentejo, was surprised that the children had read about him on the Internet and realised that he turned 37 in early September.
They gave him a birthday card and also presented him with a signed copy of the South African children's story book Dancing Baobabia by local author Bronwen Jones.
Peixoto studied Modern English and German Literature at the New University of Lisbon. Before devoting himself to writing professionally, he taught in Praia, Cape Verde and in several cities in Portugal.
Peixoto received the Prize Jovens Criadores (Young Creators) in the years of 1997, 1998 and 2000; and in 2001 his novel Nenhum Olhar (Blank Gaze/The Implacable Order of Things) received the Jose Saramago Literary Award.
He is represented in many international anthologies and in 2003 the author collaborated with the Gothic metal band Moonspell to produce a book and record, The Antidote.
Peixoto has written several plays including Anathema, premiered in the Bastille Theatre in Paris, and À Manhã and "Quando o Inverno Chegar" both premiered in the Sao Luiz Theatre in Lisbon.
In 2007, "The Piano Cemetery" was distinguished with Spanish Calamo Literary Award for the best novel published in Spanish translation in the previous year. Peixoto's works have been published in most European countries as well as in Brazil and in the United States, translated into 20 languages. His first novel in English translation was published in the UK in November 2007 by Bloomsbury and in September 2008 in the US (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), under the title "The Implacable Order of Things".
His second novel in English translation is "The Piano Cemetery", published by Bloomsbury in 2010; "Morreste-me" ("You died on me") was published in the December 2010 Warwick Review.
Jose Luis Peixoto honoured the Children of Fire by giving them a unique storytelling session about adventures with one of his children in a yard full of playful cats. And he told them his soon-to-be-published children's story: The Boy whose Mother was Rain. This is how they remembered it:

Once there was a little boy whose mother was the Rain
He was a normal little boy but she was the Rain
She was a good mother, a loving mother, and when he did his mathematics at school she pitter pattered the answers in rain drops to help him.
Two plus two and four rain drops fell onto his page.
But because she was the Rain, she could not always be there.
Rain has to travel from region to region and country to country.
The little boy did not like it when she was away.
He felt lonely.
He pleaded for her to stay and she did, long into summer.
Summer told her it was time to go and Wind helped to push her along.
The sun and the rain blended into a rainbow.
And then she went and rained where she must rain.
To stay a little longer with her son, she changed herself into snow.
He played with the snow and shaped her into a Snow-Mum that he could actually hug.
But all too soon that time was done and she melted away.
The little boy was so sad.
Rain went to rain and then came back to look for him.
She could not see him anywhere.
She rained on the mountains and the fields, the streets and the hills.
In alleys, up against windows, looking in and on and under in her search for him.
And then she looked up and saw her child.
There he was on a parachute, slowly falling, like raindrops, among the raindrops, within the caress of his mother.
The little boy told his mother: "Now I can see the world from your perspective."
You must fall and nourish the Earth and I will live below and appreciate all that you do.
The end







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This material is Copyright © The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2017.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za