Why don’t you write a story?

Below is a short, sweet, and very impressive letter written by Elizabeth Taylor in reply to a note from a downbeat fan whose pet bird, “Chips,” had recently passed away. Her gentle advice to the young girl — to write a story about the late-pet — is admirable; even more notable, though, is the fact that Taylor herself was just 13-years-old at the time of writing.

Transcript follows. Image kindly supplied by Nicholas Burr.

Image: Nicholas Burr


Elizabeth Taylor

January 24th, 1946

Dear Jean,

I was so sorry to hear about your bird dying, Why don’t you write a story about Chips ? Just as if you were writing to me, and tell all about it right from the beginning, and all the cute things she did. That’s what makes stories interesting, to have all the little details just as if you were telling a friend, and soon you’ll find how easy it is to write.

Do you want me to tell you when my book comes out ? Lots of luck.


(Signed, ‘Elizabeth Taylor’)