Despereaux looked at his father, at his gray-streaked fur and trembling whiskers and his front paws clasped together in front of his heart, and he felt suddenly as if his own heart would break in two. His father looked so small, so sad…
Forgiveness, reader, is, I think, something very much like hope and love, a powerful, wonderful thing.
And a ridiculous thing, too.
Isn’t it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn’t it ridiculous to think that a mouse could ever forgive anyone for such perfidy?
But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, “I forgive you, Pa.”
And he said those words because he sensed that it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. Despereaux, reader, spoke those words to save himself. – From the “Fourth Book” of The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
“No, wait,” said the princess. “Roscuro,” she said to the rat.
“What?” he said. Tears were falling out of his eyes and creeping down his whiskers and dripping onto the dungeon floor.
And then the princess took a deep breath and put a hand on her heart.
I think, reader, that she was feeling the same thing that Despereaux had felt when was faced with his father begging him for forgiveness. That is, Pea was aware suddenly of how fragile her heart was, how much darkness was inside it, fighting, always, with the light. She did not like the rat. She would never like the rat, but she knew what she must do to save her own heart.
And so, here are the words that the princess spoke to her enemy.
She said, “Roscuro, would you like some soup?” – From the “Fourth Book” of The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo