Today in the mail, I got a package from my mother. It contained a newly-made pillowcase: the fabric it was made from featured chickens on the body, a bit of music that looks to be from Handel’s Messiah along the edging, and a ruffle that looks like it was made from some of the gaudiest present-wrapping paper you’ve ever seen.
Inside the pillowcase was a note:
Marcellus to Horatio and Bernardo, marveling after seeing the Ghost who departed:
It faded on the crowing of the cock.
Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrated,
this bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
the nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
so hallow’d and so gracious is the time.
here’s a graduation present.
But these birds of dawning singeth all the night long now.
Not just at Christmastime.
You are safe. Love Always, Mom.
My mom knows that I know that Marcellus and Horatio and Bernardo are watchers upon the walls of Elsinore, at the opening of Hamlet‘s Act I, and they have seen the Ghost of Hamlet’s father, the dead king. She knows that I’ve been working my butt off the last few weeks to finish school, and that I’m going a little bit off my rocker with stuff to do. And so, what does she do? She breaks out her ancestral sewing machine, makes me a pillowcase, and enchants it with a spell from the grimoire of the Bard.