Monday, February 28, 2022

The Gift of the Magi

 Very often on my Sunday-morning way round to Hammersmith to take Peter on his weekly grocery shop, I have to call at Helen's around the corner to pick up some nicknack or other for him. I didn't think I would have to yesterday, because she had visited him on Friday, but when I messaged to double check she told me she had some daffodils that needed delivering "for St David's Day."

He was already outside waiting for me when I turned up so I didn't get a chance to give them to him as he jumped straight in the car. When we were in Waitrose, he bought three bunches of yellow flowers whose labels read "narcissi," and when we got back he told me one was for him, one was for a neighbour and one was for Helen.

In the pub later watching the Carabao Cup final, Ollie told me that narcissus is another name for daffodil; news to me.

Strictly in terms of time and motion studies and in the cause of efficiency, and what with supply chains being under stress, they could have kept their own flowers rather than have me take one bunch of daffodils out and bring a very similar one back.

But as I am all over the stories of O Henry (Icons passim) at the moment:

The magi, as you know, were wise men--wonderfully wise men--who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children ....... But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest. O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest. Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

No comments: