I am so sorry that I never thought to contact Rumer Godden before she died in 1998. She translated into English Prayers from the Ark, by Carmen Bernos de Gasztold. My mother gave me the book when I was a child. I have loved it ever since, reading these gentle words of supplication throughout my entire life. To think that I missed such an opportunity to speak with the woman who not only translated these moving prayer-peoms, but had worked with their author in the Abbye Saint Louis du Temple where she lived.
As a young summer camper, I sang about the animals who came on [the ark] “by twosies, twosies” never reckoning what the experience might actually have been. The gentle soul that was Bernos de Gasztold did. She imagined life on the ark as lived by the mouse, praying to God to be kept safe from “the claws of that deveil with green eyes.” For ten brief and beautiful lines she becamse the audacious rooster, reminding God who actually called forth sunrise. Each animal’s supplication for compassion is our cry, our hope; their songs of gratitude are our songs.
I wish I could thank my mother once again for giving me this beautiful book. But I have the The Prayers of the Ark, and thus, the love within her gift.
Beautiful way to let children know that all who live, whether human or animal, know G-d hears prayers.
Oh, Ilene. What a beautiful way you said this. the book touched something deep inside of me, even when I was nine or ten.
Stories told by animals in the Ark is a remarkable idea. I imagine this book isn’t available at rare bookstores.
I can see Olivia on your lap with the Ark book in hand.
Hi Iris, Yes, I am eager to read it to Olivia one day.I tried a while ago but she didn’t have
patience for it yet. You don’t have to go to a rare bookstore. It’s available online at Good Reads