When she expressed a doubtful hope that Tinker Bell would be glad to see her, he said, 'Who is Tinker Bell?' 'O Peter, ' she said, shocked; but even when she explained he could not remember. 'There are such a lot of them, ' he said. 'I expect she is no more.' I expect he was right, for fairies don't live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them.
Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John's, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents...
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But where do you live mostly now?" With the lost boys." Who are they?" They are the children who fall out of their perambulators when the nurse is looking the other way. If they are not claimed in seven days they are sent far away to the Neverland to defray expanses. I'm captain." What fun it must be!" Yes, " said cunning Peter, "but we are rather lonely. You see we have no female companionship." Are none of the others girls?" Oh no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.
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Oh, you mysterious girls, when you are fifty-two we shall find you out; you must come into the open then. If the mouth has fallen sourly yours the blame: all the meanness your youth concealed have been gathering in your face. But the pretty thoughts and sweet ways and dear, forgotten kindnesses linger there also, to bloom in your twilight like evening primroses.
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It is the custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
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All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, 'Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!' This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
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It was then that Hook bit him. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless. He could only stare, horrified. Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but he will never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter.
For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. "So, Pan, " said Hook at last, "this is all your doing." "Ay, James Hook, " came the stern answer, "it is all my doing." "Proud and insolent youth, " said Hook, "prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man, 'For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. "Dark and sinister man, " Peter answered, "have at thee.
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Peter was not quite like other boys; but he was afraid at last. A tremour ran through him, like a shudder passing over the sea; but on the sea one shudder follows another till there are hundreds of them, and Peter felt just the one. Next moment he was standing erect on the rock again, with that smile on his face and a drum beating within him. It was saying, "To die will be an awfully big adventure.
All her tormentings of me turned suddenly into sweetnesses, and who could torment like this exquisite fury, wondering in sudden flame why she could give herself to anyone, while I wondered only why she could give herself to me. It may be that I wondered over-much. Perhaps that was why I lost her.
Peter was not with them for the moment, and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves. He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight, to have some adventure in which they had no share. He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had already forgotten what it was, or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be able to to say for certain what had been happening. It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid.
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