by Mary Norton
illustrated by Diana Stanley
Everyone is so upset about Arrietty and the boy that they go to bed. As they lie in their beds Homily and Arrietty look around at all their belongings and realize how much they enjoy everything they have, except that Arrietty longs for more. Now that she has been "out", she will never be content to stay cooped up in their apartment under the floorboard.
Finally, Homily drifts off to sleep and is dreaming but then is awakened to see the ceiling above her being lifted up. Their home has been discovered. She awakens Pod and they look up to see a huge face staring down at them. It is the boy. He has missed Arrietty’s visits and has taken it upon himself to find them and to bring them some gifts. Pod is very cautious and Homily treats the boy rather coldly. Secretly, though, she is very excited about the gifts he has brought, and there is the promise of many more items to come. Arrietty is just excited to see the boy again, and is very pleased with the new dresser and a red velvet chair for Pod.
While Arrietty and the boy carry on a conversation, Homily is trying hard not to scream, and when Arrietty asks the boy if he would like to see the storerooms, Homily "clapped a hand to her mouth as though to stifle a cry." That was enough and Pod asked the boy to put the roof back on because they were getting cold. When he asked Pod if he should nail them down because he had some more things upstairs for them, Homily could not help herself. She asked Pod to ask the boy what kind of things he had for them. When he reveals he has all sorts of household items from an old dollhouse, Homily says to Pod, "Tell him to nail us down lightly." Pod could only stare at her.
The family is in turmoil. Homily is mortified about Arrietty not only being seen but actually talking to the boy. Everyone is upset even though Arrietty tries to explain that all will be okay.
Don't you just love it that Homily has to curl her hair at this time. She is "not going to be caught out with me hair like this!" I'm sure she didn't realize she was going to get caught with her hair in curl-rags. I hate to admit it but I remember Mom doing our hair in those rags as kids. I even have the pictures to prove it, ha ha!!
I had to laugh again as Homily, after being discovered by the boy, refused to get out of bed because she had her old nightdress on with the patch in the back "and nothing was going to move her." Here she is, with the boy staring down, and she has her hair in curl-rags and she is wearing her old nightgown with the patch!!! And, on top of that, she's thinking about the supper dishes she left undone and "on the kitchen table, for all the world to see." Now I'm sure the boy would not even notice or care about the dishes, but this is something that is important to Homily. I like the way the author not only tells the story about the boy finding them, but adds little interesting side things about Homily and her issues. It somehow makes everything more human (for lack of a better word). I am sure we can all relate to Homily's feelings in some way. Ha, at work the other day, I got stuck in the elevator with 4 other people for over half an hour. The Fire Department was on the way, and before they got there, I dug out my lip gloss because I didn’t want to the door to open and I didn’t look my best, ha ha, especially with a bunch of cute firemen standing about!!!
It was very thoughtful of the boy to bring some items for the family. Homily is rather cold to the boy, but secretly, I know she just can’t wait to get at that dresser he brought, and the thoughts of more to come is just too much! Pod must think Homily has lost her mind. Here they have been exposed in their home, and Homily’s thoughts are roaming to what new items they can acquire from the boy.