Sunday, 20 January 2008

Oh, deer.

Clear, frigid, minus a gazillion

Had breakfast with Joan this morning. She's remarkable. 76, runs the meditation and yoga centre in the village (Mother from DEAD COLD/A FATAL GRACE) was inspired by her, though Joan is a tiny woman. Her daughter, Wendy Matthews, is a huge (as in popular) singer in Australia and her son Gary has been kidnapped by us and forced to renovate every inch of our home. We adore him and really aren't looking forward to seeing him leave. Still, we know one day he'll tunnel out and that'll be it.

Back to Wendy in Australia for a moment. Joan showed me a remarkable photo of Wendy from a Sydney paper. Wendy's just released another album and so is doing a lot of press. This one shows her at home with one of her pets - a deer she rescued and named John Deer. Any Canadian will recognize the reference to the famous equipment manufacturer. Wendy was walking in the woods one day and saw a doe give birth (a very rare sight anywhere but apparently almost unheard of in Australia where deer are quite rare, I'm told). The mother died as Wendy watched. She then moved quietly in and picked up the little one, and took him home. And called Joan in Canada asking what to do! Joan, of course, had as much idea as you or I would. But through more common sense than I have, and love and luck, John Deer lived. And grew. When he was a year old Wendy decided to let him go wild, but he found his way back! And now he lives outside her home, and often comes in for a visit, wandering into the living room or kitchen. The photo in the paper shows Wendy kneeling and John nuzzling her hat.

Can you imagine the patience she must have had? The work she must have put in? The courage to let him go though she loved him?

Joan Matthews raises amazing kids. And what luck for me to have her as a friend. I don't go to her yoga classes and she doesn't read my books, but we know each other and support each other in places only good friends can.

BTW, no sign of the little deer next door. The apples are still there, so I suspect he's found a family. I choose to believe that.

We're in Montreal now. Appointments on Monday, event Tuesday. It's sponsored by McGill Reads and is at the McGill University Bookstore, on McTavish, at 5:30.

Hope to see you there! Bring a deer. Or a dear. My dear will be there. I call him Michael.

Speak soon - be well.


Anonymous said...

I just finished Cold Dead. My second of your series. Just loved it.
It is so easy to fall into the Three Pines life. Having a mystery to follow just adds to the reading comfort. Comfort food. Comfort reading. The Canadian references often made me smile. Galumphing. Stuffing the touque and gloves into the coat’s arm. As I write this it is about -20.
The visualization of very cold and snow cover, so many things. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
Diane, on the Ontario/Quebec border.

Nan - said...

Wonderful story of the deer. I could see it finding a way in to a mystery. (as long as it was alright!) :<)

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi Diane,

How lovely of you to write! And yes, it was cold that day, here in Sutton too and in Montreal. But everyone we spoke to all said the same feels good. Not because it's minus 20 - but because this winter reminds us of the winters of our childhoods - when it snowed forever, and the drifts piled high and then froze to concrete as the thermomenter plummeted. Divine. Freezing, but divine!

Thank you for your support and kind words - hope you like The Cruellest Month too!

Keep warm,


And Dearest Nan,

My friend. Isn't that Wendy Matthews deer story great? I'm in awe. And yes, so far John Deere is thriving - and it should be a story but if I wrote it for Three Pines the critics would kill me for being unbelievable. So I think I'll leave it to real life! Though maybe Ruth could adopt one. What do you think? A sibling for Rosa.