"IMAGINARY COUNTRIES": A CURIOUS
By HAPGOOD MOORE
Y OU are familiar with the "Imaginary Playmates" that other children invent. Did you ever hear of their devising Imaginary Countries?
The children, John and Mary, are twins. They live in Ireland ("oh, 'tis the land of fairies and wondrous wishing-wells").
At five John began to "make up things" about an imaginary "Lucy," who usually came to play with them about teatime. At six and a half the two conceived an imaginary family, which varied in size, but was always numerous. One day John was writing a letter to his grandmother, mostly about these children and their ages. He wrote part of it one afternoon, and the next day when he was going to finish it, he remarked: "Two more babies have been born since I wrote this, so I had better tell Grannie."
John's Political Ideas
When they were eight the family was thought of in connection with an imaginary farm. At nine the imaginary country came into being. Here again John led the way, because his knowledge of maps and geography was greater than that of his sister. His countries have varied a good deal in size and character. Just now John has two countries—one an island in the Pacific Ocean, the other "one of the stars," which is reached by an airplane from the South Pole.
John's country was at first an empire, but after he had listened to some remarks about presidents, it became a republic. The president has, however, not yet been chosen, because