She’s a remarkable bird. Anybody would notice her. She comes from a place where there are thistles. (from Stuart Little by E.B. White)
I do not know why the above quote moves me so much (aside from my tendency to love and copy down almost every line in Stuart Little). I’ve had it in my quote collection for a while and haven’t been able to articulate what I think it has to offer us as a quote pulled from a story. But lately, I’ve been thinking about bravery and being remarkable and how people become brave or remarkable. Nobody is born brave. But you come through places with thistles (very prickly) and you get braver. People who have walked through a lot of thistles and thorns and remained brave are remarkable. And beautiful. They make good friends. They stand out (“Anybody would notice her…”) from the complacent crowd with a dignity and strength that draws you to them.
Anyway, I think that’s why this quote intrigues me so. Stuart’s line about his friend sounds like what the Baptist church I grew up in would call “a testimony.” She’s remarkable and noticeable because she comes from a place where there are thistles and yet she is not prickly.