by Eugene Field
A father tells his child as the child nods off to sleep with his winking and blinking eyes, of dreams of sailing a wooden shoe on river of crystal light into a sea of dew.
Oh, what a wonderful horse is the Fly-Away Horse. This pre-dates Muppet Babies, but is full of the same imagination that takes the youngest of the trio to those far-away lands.
One of the scariest sounds can be the sounds of the wind at night. I grew up with a large empty field behind our backyard and beyond that was a woods with a row of tall poplars to break the wind. In so doing, the the wind in the trees makes a terribly spooky noise all night long. Wynken hears the same noises and imagines that they are warnings for his minor trangressions.
This is a fun little interlude with three pair of mischevious dancing shoes.
The final piece of this show, like The Nightwind, shows a Victorian attitude toward childhood guilt for minor infraction like asking for second piece of dessert, and again letting the childhood fears of the dark take over the imagination.
Eugene Field was born in St. Louis, Missouri. During his brief life-time,he gained most of his contemporary reputation as a local color newspaper columnist, and was a pioneer in that field. His work took him to Kansas City and eventually to Denver, Colorado. However, he is best known today for his book Poems of Childhood.
A contemporary of Eugene Field was Margaret Tobin who was born in Hannibal, Missouri. (Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemmons grew up in Hannibal, but was not born there.) Margaret moved out west entertaining in saloons, by reciting Eugene Field poems. (Try reading Field's Little Boy Blue without it bringing a tear to your eye.) Margaret Tobin's fortune changed when she married a lucky prospector by the name of John Brown and moved to Denver, Colorado. One of her few friends in Denver was Eugene Field.
A number of years later, two young men who played in the Mason City, Iowa high school band together moved to New York to seek fame and fortune. Band member, Bil Baird, gained fame as a puppeteer; and fellow band member Meredith Willson wrote a great Broadway musical about the life of Margaret "Molly" Tobin Brown.
Tom Bonham is also seeking his fame and fortune with the literary works of Eugene Field. However, he will probably not marry a wealthy prospector, sail the Titanic, or have a Broadway musical written about his life. Instead, he presents a terrific puppet show.