During one of her thrilling adventures â€“ it may have been the time when she rescued some ducks from a toxic puddle â€“ Tiny Enid suffered a clonk on the head. Thereafter, every so often, she began to have visions, and she became convinced that she was seeing tableaux from her previous lives. It had never before occurred to the plucky tot that she might have lived before, under other guises, and that â€œTiny Enidâ€ was but one character her Gaar, or essence of being, had inhabited. Her mysterious mentor, whom we have a very vague picture of from earlier Tiny Enid adventure stories, pooh-poohed her visions and recommended that she eat heartier breakfasts, but Tiny Enid was wedded to her morning milk slops and had an independent spirit. Although she valued her mysterious mentorâ€™s sage counsel, she also thought him a bit of a doddery old foolish person, and she picked and chose which pieces of advice to follow. In many ways Tiny Enidâ€™s personality was akin to that of Charles Lindbergh, the aviation ace, daring and reckless and with a fascist bent. Chronologically, of course, it was impossible that Tiny Enid could be the reincarnation of Lindbergh, and in any case, in all her past life hallucinations she was a girl. Most of the time, too, she was tiny.
Contemporary fans of the heroic infant, those who keep her memory alive, often seem embarrassed by this aspect of Tiny Enidâ€™s character. They prefer to think of her as level-headed and no-nonsense and gritty, and of course she was all these, but drawing a veil over her post-head-clonk belief in various types of ethereal woo does her a disservice. To see Tiny Enid in the round is to accept that she thought her Gaar was as real as a pebble she could hold in her hand and as important as a telegram alerting her to the imperilment of some ducks in a toxic puddle.
One Tiny Enidist who is keen to pay due attention to this sort of guff is Basil Groove. The name may be familiar to those of you who grooved to the fab sounds of the sixties, for Basil was a member of the psychedelic pop group Turquoise Eye Of The Lobster King. Having hung up his plectrum, Basil Groove has been scouring the worldâ€™s picture libraries seeking illustrations which depict figures who may be Tiny Enid avant lâ€™Enid, as it were. He has compiled these into an album to be published later this year, entitled Scenes From The Past Lives Of Plucky Tot Tiny Enid, and it is with great pleasure that we are able to show one of the drawings here. It shows a small female child, armed only with a pin-cushion and a pencil sharpener, confronting a dreadful knight. She may not have a club foot, but, as Basil Groove says, â€œwho else could this possibly be than the fearless infant heroine whose venturesomeness delights us all?â€