Is this Anne of Green Gables? …or Erin Blythe?
When our daughter Erin was three and my son Stuart was eighteen months, we left Cold Lake, Alberta because my husband was transferred by the Canadian Armed Forces to 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario. We decided to make a vacation trip out of it and on our way branched off to visit family in Victoria and Comox, British Columbia.
One of our side trips was to visit the petting zoo at Beacon Hill Park while we were in Victoria. Before we left for the park, Erin dressed in her favorite outfit, a pastel pinafore dress with a straw hat.
At the zoo, we made our way one by one by the pen of each animal in the zoo until we came to the rabbit pen. Stuart was too small to see the rabbits, so I lifted him up and over the railing so he could also pet them (right). The giggle that came out of him was priceless and I was totally enthralled.
As we turned toward the goats, I noticed that Erin was no longer beside us. She was the center of attention for a group of young Asian girls (left).
They were almost in awe as they chattered amongst themselves in their language and hesitantly reached out to stroke her hand and pet her. It was almost like she was one of the petting zoo friends.
It was when we were leaving that it suddenly dawned on me, “Mark!,” I said excitedly, “They think she looks like Anne of Green Gables!”
I had heard of the fascination of the Japanese for Anne of Green Gables and by that time it seemed so obvious I wondered how I had missed it.