“Why should we strive, with cynic frown, to knock their fairy castles down?” ~ Eliza Cook

“Bonpa Grant fell in love with castles the summer he explored Copenhagen,” Ashley said. “He fell in love with poetry and fairy tales, too. Claimed that’s what helped him settle on a major in college – literature.”

He handed Christina a copy of The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories. “That was one of the gifts he sent me when Nonni would send me a different book each month. Almost always fairy tales from wherever they were at.”

“Wait a minute – you refer to them in so many different languages. Why?”

“Ah. Well, he and Bomma were the ‘good dad’ and ‘good mom,’ respectively. She took pride in sharing that bit of Flemish with me, sort of our little linguistic secret. Of course, my father figured out what that meant, and I had to stop using it almost immediately. How I got away with the Italian version, sparingly, was a mystery or a fluke.

“They loved languages. Sometimes, I’d get the original versions of some stories and I’d spend hours trying to work out the meaning before finding a translation of it. My Great-Aunt Sharon gave me six bilingual texts when I was younger. Saved me the research time.” Ashley pulled a book off the upper-most shelf, then handed it to Christina, with the book opened to the title page. “She was quite the artist, too.”

“Wow! This explains where your doodling talent came from. Did she ever have her work featured in a gallery or anything?”

He shook his head. “Only a select few of us have those sketches. When she married, the jerk-who-shall-not-be-named destroyed most of her dreams, determined to have a Stepford Wife. Utter nonsense. Sharon could draw, sing, dance, debate… Kind of like Heda Lamar or Shirley Temple-Black – so much more than meets the eye.”

Christina brought the book closer, before grabbing the magnifying glass behind her. “Well, there’s definitely more here in this castle in the sky sketch that what you first saw, I bet.”