By Julia Casterton (auth.)

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And because we are reading the story, we are at an imaginative level participating in the events, recognising aspects of ourselves in the main character. We see our own dissatisfactions, our own pointless, unfocused longings in her and we are forced, because we are shown the terrible thing that happens to her, to question aspects of ourselves which might otherwise remain unexamined. Four lines of T. S. Eliot's 'East Coker' come to mind here: The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part.

The roofleafbecame the thing they worship. Looking over the heads of the children at the end of this tale, I saw slowly coming towards us, a large brown spiky thing as big as a room, with a dozen legs walking slowly and carefully under it. When it reached our canopy, it was presented to us. It was our roof. As it approached, the people bowed down. The white missionary before you would not let us have this ceremony, said Joseph. But the Olinka like it very much. We know a roofleafis notJesus Christ, but in its humble way, is it not God?

She said. ' he said, sinking into sullen silence. Then he looked up suddenly, beginning in a harsh voice, then breaking suddenly into broad dialect: 'I love - Ah luv thee! ' He took her hand and pressed it against his belly. 'But tha wunna want ter ma'e me feel sma', shall ter? Let me be mysen, and let me feel as iftha' wor littler than me! -else 1 canna stop wi' thee. Let me luv thee my own road, as if! was bringin' the money 'orne. 1 canna help it. Tha can laugh at me- but dunna want ter ma'e me feel sma'!

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