Recently Orlando Appledore received the following missive from Harry, a sixth grade student from Brooklyn, NY:
Orlando, why did you run away just after you discovered the Fountain of Youth? Wasn’t discovering it your lifelong dream? -Harry
Orlando penned the following reply and asked me to post it for him.
Dear Young Sir,
Thank you for contacting me pertaining this vital manner. I would like to begin by commending you on your name. Of course one has no say over one’s own name, but, as I am sure you are well aware, I have a great nephew named Harry of whom I am quite fond. He and dear Nora are rather obsessed with Peary’s exploration of the North Pole, but we each have our fixations.
This brings me to the crux of your question. Indeed discovering the fountain was my lifelong dream. Yet when I finally put the pieces together, I was not filled with satisfaction. Rather, I was overwhelmed with dread. It seems I suffered from myopia in my quest, and did not consider all of the ramifications of my discovery. What would the world do if it knew of the Fountain of Youth? For that matter, what would my nephew, who seeks nothing but personal fortune, do? Can you imagine? Never fear. I took the necessary precautions to guard my discovery. The secret is safe with young Nora.
Continue in your studies, young sir. A lively mind is the greatest gift.
Yours in admiration,
Doctor Orlando Appledore
Thank you to librarian Hannah Mermelstein of Saint Ann’s school in Brooklyn Heights. Harry developed his question as part of a Mock Newbery activity in which students wrote postcards to or from characters in the books they read. I am quite honored that Harry chose to write to Orlando: Thank you, Harry!