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Journal of Katherine Mansfield



“Does nobody want that piece of bread and butter?” says L.M. You would really think from her tone that she was saving the poor little darling from the river or worse, willing to adopt it as her own child and bring it up so that it never should know it was once unwanted. She cannot bear to see solitary little pieces of bread and butter or lonely little cakes—or even a lump of sugar that someone has cruelly, heartlessly left in his saucer. And when you offer her the big cake, she says resignedly: “Oh, well, my dear, I'll just try”, as though she knew how sensitive and easily hurt the poor old chap's feelings were, if he's passed by. After all, it can't hurt her.

L.M. is also exceedingly fond of bananas. But she eats them so slowly, so terribly slowly. Ah, they know it—somehow they realise what is in store for them when she reaches out her hand. I have seen bananas turn absolutely livid with terror, or grow pale—pale as ashes.