Color Me Raven Black!

So I tried to shorten the following excerpt, but I think the full effect will be lost if shortened… or you can watch the clip on youtube here.


“Dyed it! Dyed your hair! Anne Shirley, didn’t you know it was a wicked thing to do?”

“Yes, I knew it was a little wicked,” admitted Anne. “But I thought it was worth while to be a little wicked to get rid of red hair. I counted the cost, Marilla. Besides, I meant to be extra good in other ways to make up for it.”

“Well,” said Marilla sarcastically, “if I’d decided it was worth while to dye my hair I’d have dyed it a decent color at least. I wouldn’t have dyed it green.”

“But I didn’t mean to dye it green, Marilla,” protested Anne dejectedly. “If I was wicked I meant to be wicked to some purpose. He said it would turn my hair a beautiful raven black—he positively assured me that it would. How could I doubt his word, Marilla? I know what it feels like to have your word doubted. And Mrs. Allan says we should never suspect anyone of not telling us the truth unless we have proof that they’re not. I have proof now—green hair is proof enough for anybody. But I hadn’t then and I believed every word he said IMPLICITLY.”

“Who said? Who are you talking about?”

“The peddler that was here this afternoon. I bought the dye from him.”

“Anne Shirley, how often have I told you never to let one of those Italians in the house! I don’t believe in encouraging them to come around at all.”

“Oh, I didn’t let him in the house. I remembered what you told me, and I went out, carefully shut the door, and looked at his things on the step. Besides, he wasn’t an Italian—he was a German Jew. He had a big box full of very interesting things and he told me he was working hard to make enough money to bring his wife and children out from Germany. He spoke so feelingly about them that it touched my heart. I wanted to buy something from him to help him in such a worthy object. Then all at once I saw the bottle of hair dye. The peddler said it was warranted to dye any hair a beautiful raven black and wouldn’t wash off. In a trice I saw myself with beautiful raven-black hair and the temptation was irresistible. But the price of the bottle was seventy-five cents and I had only fifty cents left out of my chicken money. I think the peddler had a very kind heart, for he said that, seeing it was me, he’d sell it for fifty cents and that was just giving it away. So I bought it, and as soon as he had gone I came up here and applied it with an old hairbrush as the directions said. I used up the whole bottle, and oh, Marilla, when I saw the dreadful color it turned my hair I repented of being wicked, I can tell you. And I’ve been repenting ever since.”

“Well, I hope you’ll repent to good purpose,” said Marilla severely, “and that you’ve got your eyes opened to where your vanity has led you, Anne. Goodness knows what’s to be done. I suppose the first thing is to give your hair a good washing and see if that will do any good.”

Accordingly, Anne washed her hair, scrubbing it vigorously with soap and water, but for all the difference it made she might as well have been scouring its original red. The peddler had certainly spoken the truth when he declared that the dye wouldn’t wash off, however his veracity might be impeached in other respects.

“Oh, Marilla, what shall I do?” questioned Anne in tears. “I can never live this down. People have pretty well forgotten my other mistakes—the liniment cake and setting Diana drunk and flying into a temper with Mrs. Lynde. But they’ll never forget this. They will think I am not respectable. Oh, Marilla, ‘what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.’ That is poetry, but it is true. And oh, how Josie Pye will laugh! Marilla, I CANNOT face Josie Pye. I am the unhappiest girl in Prince Edward Island.”

Anne’s unhappiness continued for a week. During that time she went nowhere and shampooed her hair every day. Diana alone of outsiders knew the fatal secret, but she promised solemnly never to tell, and it may be stated here and now that she kept her word. At the end of the week Marilla said decidedly:

“It’s no use, Anne. That is fast dye if ever there was any. Your hair must be cut off; there is no other way. You can’t go out with it looking like that.”

Anne’s lips quivered, but she realized the bitter truth of Marilla’s remarks. With a dismal sigh she went for the scissors.”                                      ~~~ Excerpted from Anne of Green Gables


Two Fridays ago, I had my hair colored for the first time…. because you see, I have been consistently seeing these pesky gray peeking through my “formerly raven black” hair!  I told my hairdresser as long as I didn’t have an Anne of Green Gables experiences with the coloring session, I was good to go. After all, I did have a rather important event to go to.  I surely didn’t want to show up with the potentially comical visual effect of a botched up hair coloring job!

I was also saddened a couple of weeks ago to find out the actor who played the Gilbert Blythe, Jonathan Crombie, passed away.  So, I have been watching the Anne of Green Gables series by Kevin Sullivan for old time’s sake. My favorite scenes are the “Lily Maid Rescue” scenes.


Probably the best scene from Anne of Green Gables, with Anne’s recitation of ‘The Lady of Shalott’ being a close second. I’m also extremely jealous of Gilbert’s ability to rock out the hat. :)
Gilbert: Anne Shirley. What in heck are you doing here?
Anne: Fishing for lake trout. 

Curious mind wants to know if you have a favorite Anne of Green Gables scene?

Thanks for suffering through my “vanity of vanities” post today! :)  I hope you have a lovely weekend!  See you next week.

15 thoughts on “Color Me Raven Black!

  1. I love the Anne of Green Gables series, both books & movies. I love the scene of the hair so much, but to add another scene to this list, I love when she is introducing herself to Marrila. She first asks to be called Cordellia (sp?), then says if she must call her Anne, can she call her Anne with an E.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Didn’t even notice it was dyed!! I’ve always admired girls who had such nice straight, silky hair like yours & my best friend Carolyn’s hair. Never ever noticed any gray hair either. You’re a gem anyway!!

  3. Whether it is the books or the movie or the PBS series, Anne of Green Gables holds a very dear place in my heart as one of the most endearing stories of all time!!! And “Gilbert’s” death saddened me deeply…..of especially tragic, unexpected nature but almost in keeping with Anne Shirley’s view of the world around her.
    I do hope that your dye experience had the intended results (your photos appeared so). We do reach that point of decision and, for myself who have dealt with going from sandy blonde to gray in my mid-teens, it does cause one to pause and even more so if others per chance would make an off-hand remark in that regard. With many hugs from one who has never experienced raven-black or “carrots”…….SSAB!!!!

  4. This is one of my favorite sets of books! My daughter received the set as a gift, and that’s when I finally read them. One of my favorite parts is the very beginning, where Matthew takes Anne from the orphanage, even though she’s supposed to be a boy. I think I was hooked from then on.
    On the subject of hair dye, I colored my hair for many years, but finally gave up when my hair no longer accepted the dye. Now I just embrace the gray, figuring everyone one of them was hard-earned.

  5. Anne is one of my all time favorites. Not sure I could pick a favorite scene. Love all the ones mentioned and many more. My blonde hair once turned green from chlorine in a swimming pool. It happened to be St. Patrick’s Day and people thought it was intentional. It was NOT! And it took a long time to grow out.

  6. I couldnt say that I have a favourite scene, but I recently re-read the entire series and I found the later books very moving, with Anne and Gilbert being older and looking back over their lives surrounded by their children. I have always loved the books but only recently found the final few books. I am currently watching a re-make of the Winston Graham books – Poldark!!!! Yummy!

  7. I love these books! This scene illustrates so perfectly how she gets into scrapes without meaning to at first.

    I’ve thought about coloring my hair. The grey doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that my once blond hair turned a dark mousy brown. A pretty brown I wouldn’t have minded! But I’d hate to deal with roots showing up a different color in just a few weeks’ time, so I have never tried it. I know numbers of ladies who do, though.

    It’s hard to pick out a favorite Anne scene. I think the Lily Maid ones would be among them.

    I was saddened, too, to hear of “Gilbert’s” passing.

  8. I like the movie. I have not seen it in a few years….
    Gosh, dementia is moving in quickly, all I can remember is when she becomes a teacher… And the green wooded paths. Acres of grass

  9. Very cute. My color is mahogany, and my gray started as a streak when I was 17. I’m too young to have white hair, lol. Love Anne of Green Gables, too. Thanks for the memories. I need to reread them.

  10. Oh I think it’s high time to watch the series again or re-read the books. Katie walked down the aisle to music from Anne of Green Gables and my brother (the pastor) found a beautiful quote to read at the wedding ceremony. Fun memories. So how did your hair turn out. My hairdresser is a master color expert so I never worry…

  11. I’ve always enjoyed watching Anne of Green Gables. She was very curious and adventurous, which made a very shy girl like me dream of getting in all kinds of mischief like Anne Shirley. Thanks for the memories. As for the grey hair, I too get colour in a bottle as my white patches are on the sides like a skunk as the rest is still black.

  12. I love Anne of GG, not from the TV series, but from reading L.M. Montgomery’s book as a child. you should read it to miss baby. she would love thE stories…each chapter is a new adventure. I love annes much that i have been to Prince Edward Island twice to visit the home that this fictional character was really based on. My parents took me as a little girl.. just visited the last time about 2 years ago. A magical, beautiful Small island off NovaScotia. When I get home, I will se you photos to share with Miss Baby.

  13. I absolutely love, love Anne of Green Gables. I have all the shows and watch them at least once a year and love the scenes you shared. When I was about 11 my family traveled to PEI and I begged my Dad to take us to Anne’s house only to find it closed. I did walk all around the house and the property. I did ask if we could stay a few extra days until it opened but was vetoed and home we went.
    I too was saddened hearing that Gilbert had passed away I always hoped I’d meet him and we’d get married lol.

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