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These last few days, I've been pondering what made me into who I am today.  That answer always beginss to my Dad and my Mom, especially their love of books.  We were surrounded by them!  BOOKS!  Lots and lots of BOOKS!  From the encylopedia sets we had by the beginning of the third grade – including “The Book of Knowledge” and the Children's Stories, we were given wonderful books on fables, story tales, adventures.  As I think about it, certain ones still keep coming to the foreground of my mind after all these years of first reading (and believe me, I do mean ALL these years – 60+ behind the binding).  And, from those books, I remember phrases, ideas, lessons... and among the earliest of them that I recall were Aesop's Fables.

Frequently, I remember certain sayings and realize many of my “guiding principles” come from  those simple stories.  I loved those books and read them over and over as a child.  I wonder how many children are reading these books today – books that were written over two thousand years ago.  If they are, will they too carry these wise stories into their lives, will they share them with their children?

These Fables, these “stories”, all had one theme in common – consequences.   From our actions, our choices, the fable presents lessons to be learned.  How often, as children, do we hear stories that leave an indelible imprint on our young minds. i HOPE these same tales now being shared with children of this and recent past generations?  At 67, I remember as clearly today as I did when I was 6 and 7 yrs old, sitting on the floor looking at the “stories” in the abundance of books that surrounded me.  

My father was an avid reader – his love of books has come down through my life because of the exposure to those magical/mystical stories. As a small child/young adult, I was able to disappear into another reality, another world filled with other people and their experiences, their reactions, their success, adversity, challenges or failure.  I learned the hard lessons along beside the goat, the wolf, the snake, the farmer - sometimes with laughter, manytimes with a studied "I'M not gonna get caught like THAT" reaction.

That is why, in this electronic age where even a one year old child has TWO computers instead of books and the bonding time between parent and child?  I wonder if we are cheating that child by not sitting together and reading these strange things called “books”.  Are we really that busy in life that we cannot take the time to refresh our own memories of these wise tales with the fresh young mind who has yet to hear them? The time we take to share the stories builds relationships of trust and comfort and love between parent and child.  The lessons learned are relatively painless as the child is taught compassion, wisdom, empathy, understanding.  Don't we owe the next generation the gift of imagination?

If you are interested in which tales, which fables have stayed – stuck and stayed and molded this one mind... please drop into the well with me...

We hear so many phrases, “you can't please everybody”, “look before you leap”, “sour grapes”, “don't cry wolf” - but do you think to wonder where these originate?  Last night, I was struck by one such fable, “the dog in the manger”, and set out to find it's source.  I couldn't remember if it was written by the Brothers Grimm or perhaps Hans Christian Anderson.  I was wrong on both counts.

This particular fable was written over 1000 years earlier by Aesop.  I pulled my trusty kindle to find the original again and then started to re-read these words so wise.  (I keep my kindle loaded with so many classics that are free to download and are the wonderful reminders of the wisdom of those gone long before).

For the first fable, it is short, succienct and has always come to the forefront of my mind when I encounter situations that apply.

The Dog in the Manger

A DOG lay in a manger, and by his growling and snapping prevented the oxen from eating the hay which had been placed for them. “What a selfish Dog!” said one of them to his companions; “he cannot eat the hay himself, and yet refuses to allow those to eat who can.”

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 21). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

For a few more of Aesop's wise words, I kept reading and had to laugh at this one – it is very “political”, don't you think?
The Bear and the Two Travelers

TWO MEN were traveling together, when a Bear suddenly met them on their path. One of them climbed up quickly into a tree and concealed himself in the branches. The other, seeing that he must be attacked, fell flat on the ground, and when the Bear came up and felt him with his snout, and smelt him all over, he held his breath, and feigned the appearance of death as much as he could. The Bear soon left him, for it is said he will not touch a dead body. When he was quite gone, the other Traveler descended from the tree, and jocularly inquired of his friend what it was the Bear had whispered in his ear. “He gave me this advice,” his companion replied. “Never travel with a
friend who deserts you at the approach of danger.”

Misfortune tests the sincerity of friends.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 22). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..  

I couldn't help but laugh as this has a newer twist today.  
Two friends were walking in the woods when a huge bear charged out in front of them.  One of the two friends slowly bent down and began tying his sneakers, the other friend exclaimed “YOU can't outrun that bear!”

His companion replied, “I don't HAVE to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you!”

These two go together, don't they – same thing, different viewpoint!  The first example is the good samaritan, the second is the seinfeld syndrome.  Both are the same situation, but the choices are very different.

Continuing on a similar theme of human behavior, Aesop wrote of the Miser.

The Miser

A MISER sold all that he had and bought a lump of gold, which he buried in a hole in the ground by the side of an old wall and went to look at daily. One of his workmen observed his frequent visits to the spot and decided to watch his movements. He soon discovered the secret of the hidden treasure, and digging down, came to the lump of gold, and stole it. The Miser, on his next visit, found the hole empty and began to tear his hair and to make loud lamentations. A neighbor, seeing him overcome with grief and learning the cause, said, “Pray do not grieve so; but go and take a stone, and place it in the hole, and fancy that the gold is still lying there. It will do you quite the same service; for when the gold was there, you had it not, as you did not make the slightest use of it.”

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 23). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

This one is so appropriate in today's climate of greed where some continue to amass huge “lumps of gold” that they never make the slightest use of.  It is the attaining that drives them, yet – for all their vast accumulated sums, they might as well be collecting stone.

That which flows freely from one's being returns yet again in greater quantity and with greater meaning.  Just like “gold”, so also is love.  Love isn't endless – it has to be returned to continue to grow.  When the entire focus is on “protecting” what one has, the opportunity to grow is missed.

As is knowing when to give, so is knowing when to protest important!  I am reminded of Occupy – and the reason that so many are willing to stand up for what is important.

The Piglet, the Sheep, and the Goat

A YOUNG PIG was shut up in a fold-yard with a Goat and a Sheep. On one occasion when the shepherd laid hold of him, he grunted and squeaked and resisted violently. The Sheep and the Goat complained of his distressing cries, saying, “He often handles us, and we do not cry out.” To this the Pig replied, “Your handling and mine are very different things. He catches you only for your wool, or your milk, but he lays hold on me for my very life.”

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 25). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

This one is horribly true when it comes to the world instability.
The Laborer and the Snake

A SNAKE, having made his hole close to the porch of a cottage, inflicted a mortal bite on the Cottager’s infant son. Grieving over his loss, the Father resolved to kill the Snake. The next day, when it came out of its hole for food, he took up his axe, but by swinging too hastily, missed its head and cut off only the end of its tail. After some time the Cottager, afraid that the Snake would bite him also, endeavored to make peace, and placed some bread and salt in the hole. The Snake, slightly hissing, said: “There can henceforth be no peace between us; for whenever I see you I shall remember the loss of my tail, and whenever you see me you will be thinking of the death of your son.”

No one truly forgets injuries in the presence of him who caused the injury.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 25). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

And, we've all heard the story of the wolf in sheep's clothing – but how many of us know the ending?

From Aesop:

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

ONCE UPON A TIME a Wolf resolved to disguise his appearance in order to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock, deceiving the shepherd by his costume. In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed, and the entrance made thoroughly secure. But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught up the Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly.

Harm seek, harm find.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 25). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

This should be on the wall of every member of congress...
The Ass and the Mule

A MULETEER set forth on a journey, driving before him an Ass and a Mule, both well laden. The Ass, as long as he traveled along the plain, carried his load with ease, but when he began to ascend the steep path of the mountain, felt his load to be more than he could bear. He entreated his companion to relieve him of a small portion, that he might carry home the rest; but the Mule paid no attention to the request. The Ass shortly afterwards fell down dead under his burden. Not knowing what else to do in so wild a region, the Muleteer placed upon the Mule the load carried by the Ass in addition to his own, and at the top of all placed the hide of the Ass, after he had skinned him. The Mule, groaning beneath his heavy burden, said to himself: “I am treated according to my deserts. If I had only been willing to assist the Ass a little in his need, I should not now be bearing, together with his burden, himself as well.”

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 26). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

On that thought, let me invite you to read all of Aesop's Fables – and, if you have children, start sharing them in your “reading time” together.  It is never too early for them to listen and learn these valuable lessons.  These will stay with your children much longer than the latest video game they “win”, trust me!

And, for all who are wont to rid the government of all therein, this is a lesson that would be hard learned.  From over 2000 years ago, Aesop observed wisely that simply ridding oneself of one burden without knowing what will come after also has consequences!

The Oxen and the Butchers

THE OXEN once upon a time sought to destroy the Butchers, who practiced a trade destructive to their race. They assembled on a certain day to carry out their purpose, and sharpened their horns for the contest. But one of them who was exceedingly old (for many a field had he plowed) thus spoke: “These Butchers, it is true, slaughter us, but they do so with skillful hands, and with no unnecessary pain. If we get rid of them, we shall fall into the hands of unskillful operators, and thus suffer a double death: for you may be assured, that though all the Butchers should perish, yet will men never want beef.”

Do not be in a hurry to change one evil for another.

Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 27). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

well, this is getting a bit long – so let me just suggest you download the kindle for pc/mac and then add Aesop's Fables to your collection – and think of this as a wonderful child's birthday present, along with the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson (oh, and don't forget Mother Goose!)

I hope you've enjoyed these as much as I did re-reading them – and there are many more to still enjoy yet again.  And may your children and grandchildren and young friends be fortunate to have copies of Aesop and the other great story tellers to guide them on their life's paths!

Originally posted to Readers and Book Lovers on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:20 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


What is your favorite aesop's fable?

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Comment Preferences

  •  oops! i guess i'm outta practice... (12+ / 0-)

    11pm EASTERN - not pacific.  mea culpa - my tortoise moment turned into the hare!

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:45:31 PM PST

  •  I only knew a few of those that you mentioned (16+ / 0-)

    and I don't know where this story comes from, but it is important to me.  (It is something like this, but I may have it wrong).

    A woman's husband came home from the war and treated her with silence.  She asked a wise man for help and he told her she must get two whiskers from a tiger to help her husband.

    The woman wondered how she could ever manage it, but finally she started leaving a bowl of milk on the tiger's path first far from him and as he drank it she moved it closer each day until one day the tiger was so close and unafraid of her that she was able to ask for and take two of the whiskers.

    She took them to the wise man and explained how she had managed the task and the wise man told her to now do the same thing with her husband.

    I also like Androcles and the Lion which is similar to a story from an Aesop Fable:

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:46:42 PM PST

  •  name ? dunno... (11+ / 0-)

    drink water

    no killing
    look before leaping

    knee-jerk bad

    greed ? vanity ?

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:55:20 PM PST

    •  forgot one. (8+ / 0-)

      puffing to be bigger.

      big frog/little pond
      not that big, really -- mostly hot air.

      (ridicule can be a great weapon. i'm going to learn to master it, somehow. safely.)

      frogs are the canaries-in-the-mines of the planet, btw.

      There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

      by greenbird on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:59:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this one is called "the ox and the frog" (4+ / 0-)

        and the frog doesn't actually burst - that came in later renditions of retelling.

        The Ox and the Frog

        AN OX drinking at a pool trod on a brood of young frogs and crushed one of them to death. The Mother coming up, and missing one of her sons, inquired of his brothers what had become of him. “He is dead, dear Mother; for just now a very huge beast with four great feet came to the pool and crushed him to death with his cloven heel.” The Frog, puffing herself out, inquired, “if the beast was as big as that in size.” “Cease, Mother, to puff yourself out,” said her son, “and do not be angry; for you would, I assure you, sooner burst than successfully imitate

        Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 32). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

        oh, and it REALLY must be late! my post was here all along. oops.  now, off to bed!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:16:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  here ya go! (6+ / 0-)

      from aesopicia...


      A thirsty crow noticed a huge jar and saw that at the very bottom there was a little bit of water. For a long time the crow tried to spill the water out so that it would run over the ground and allow her to satisfy her tremendous thirst. After exerting herself for some time in vain, the crow grew frustrated and applied all her cunning with unexpected ingenuity: as she tossed little stones into the jar, the water rose of its own accord until she was able to take a drink.
      This fable shows us that thoughtfulness is superior to brute strength, since this is the way that the crow was able to carry her task to its conclusion.

      your second (from kindle copy):
      The Fox and the Goat

      A FOX one day fell into a deep well and could find no means of escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his sad plight under a merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish praise of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and encouraging him to descend. The Goat, mindful only of his thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox informed him of the difficulty they were both in and suggested a scheme for their common escape. “If,” said he, “you will place your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards.” The Goat readily assented and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying himself with the Goat’s horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and made off as fast as he could. When the Goat upbraided him for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out, “You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down before you had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape.”

      Look before you leap.

      Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 21). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

      and the third you mentioned (also from kindle copy):
      The Dog and the Shadow A DOG, crossing a bridge over a stream with a piece of flesh in his mouth, saw his own shadow in the water and took it for that of another Dog, with a piece of meat double his own in size. He immediately let go of his own, and fiercely attacked the other Dog to get his larger piece from him. He thus lost both: that which he grasped at in the water, because it was a shadow; and his own, because the stream swept it away.

      Translated by George Fyler Townsend. Aesop's Fables (p. 18). Amazon Digital Services, Inc..

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:04:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you know if Aesop is the source for the story.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the hungry mule who found himself an equal distance between two equal amounts of hay and starved to death because he couldn't decide which one was the best one to eat first. The moral related to something like: if you can't make a decision then you'll perish (or something like that, my memory fades).

        Also a very good book of fables from a modern children's author and illustrator is Arnold Lobel's "Fables" which won the Caldecott Medal in 1983. The stories and morals are very good, maybe a little longer than Aesop's (but still fit on one page) and excellently done illustrations that fit the stories well. A couple of the story titles are "The Crocodile in the Bedroom" (Moral: Without a doubt, there is such a thing as too much order) and "The Pig and the Candy Store" (Moral: A locked door is very likely to discourage temptation)--well you get the idea. I used to have a copy, but my son took it with him when he left the house to live on his own, that's how much he liked the book. My second copy is now with my grandson, so I may have to get another copy again just for me.

        Men must learn now with pity to dispense; For policy sits above conscience. — William Shakespeare, 'Timon of Athens', Act III, Scene II

        by dewtx on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:44:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  rats, lost my post - had the three fables for ya.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Portlaw, Aunt Pat

      it's a bit late right now - i'll repost them tomorrow for ya.

      sorry - (@#!&$@ computer!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:14:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Edrie. I enjoyed reading all your (9+ / 0-)

    examples. I remember the Book of Knowledge, which we also had. I also remember sitting on the floor during a loud thunderstorm (which I was afraid of) and my mother reading the parts explaining why thunder wasn't dangerous, just loud. Since that was almost sixty years ago, I guess you can say that it stuck with me ;)

  •  Once Upon A Time..... (10+ / 0-)

    I've mentioned this in past diaries, but the "Cinderella" story has always fascinated me. There are thousands of variants of the story, with some occurring independent of each other in disparate cultures throughout most of recorded history. In fact, it is one of the oldest stories in human history.

    The Cinderella story has always kinda reminded me of the anecdote Douglas Adams included in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" about the strange occurrence of every culture in the galaxy having a drink named Gin & Tonic.

    The first known occurrence of the story occurs in the 1st century B.C. by the historian Strabo. In this version, Rhodopis (Cinderella) is a Greek slave in Egypt, who is mistreated by the other slaves because of her beauty & being a foreigner.
    Rhodopis (the "rosy-cheeked"), a Greek slave, works in the household of her Egyptian master. Though kind, her elderly master spends most of his time sleeping, and is therefore unaware of her harsh treatment at the hands of his other servant girls. Because Rhodopis is both fair-complexioned and a foreign slave, the other servants tease her and order her around. After her master sees Rhodopis dancing skillfully by herself, he gives her a pair of rose-gilded slippers. The other servants resent this treatment and use Rhodopis more harshly than before. One day, Pharaoh Ahmose II invites the people of Egypt to a celebration in Memphis. The other servants prevent Rhodopis from attending with them by giving her a long list of chores to complete.
    While she is down by the river washing clothes, her slippers become wet and she places them in the sun to dry. Suddenly, the falcon Horus swoops down, snatches one of the slippers, and flies away with it. Rhodopis stores the other slipper in her clothing.

    During the celebration in Memphis, the falcon drops the slipper in the Pharaoh's lap. Realizing that it is a sign from Horus, he decrees that all the maidens of the kingdom must try on the slipper, and that he will marry the one whose foot it fits. The Pharaoh’s search for the owner of the slipper eventually leads him to Rhodopis’ home. Though Rhodopis hides when she sees the Pharaoh’s barge, he sees her and asks her to try the slipper. After demonstrating that it fits her, she pulls out its mate, and the Pharaoh declares that he will marry her.

    The kicker to Strabo's version of the story is that it might have been based on a real person. Herodotus, five centuries before Strabo, mentions Rhodopis in Histories, writing that Rhodopis came from Thrace, and was the slave of Iadmon of Samos, and a fellow-slave of Aesop, of Aesop's Fables.

    Another iteration of the Cinderella story occurs in 9th century China in the Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang by Tuan Ch'eng-Shih. Written during the Tang Dynasty, Tuan Ch'eng Shih, implies that the story is ancient to him.

    Yeh-hsien, the Chinese Cinderella, is described as "very intelligent, very clever" and "good at making pottery on the wheel." Her mother dies, and then her father as well, leaving her with the father's co-wife and her daughter, both of whom mistreat Yeh-hsien. Her only friend is a magical golden fish, who appears to her in the pond. The step-mother discovers this source of comfort and promptly kills the fish. Yeh-hsein recovers the bones from the dung heap, and hides them in her room. The bones are magic, and the fish continues to help her even after death, providing the food and drink and warmth that Yeh-hsien's family deny her. When the girl is left behind on festival day, the bones provide her with clothes: a cloak of kingfisher feathers and tiny golden shoes. Running home again, the girl loses a shoe. It is picked up and sold to a warlord, who begins a massive search to find the woman the tiny shoe will fit ... Yeh-hsien reveals herself and becomes chief wife in the warlord's household. The step-mother and step-sister are subsequently stoned to death -- but their grave, "The Tomb of the Distressed Women," becomes a local shrine.
    Each iteration of the story puts a different spin on it based on the culture it originates from. The definition & standards of beauty become different depending on the version of the story. The Chinese versions has Yeh-hsien's feet being the smallest throughout the land, which hints at the fetish for small feet that caused foot binding.

    Also, the slipper isn't a slipper & isn't made of glass depending on the version you read. In the version of the Cinderella story that appears in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), the slipper is an anklet & a fairy found inside a magic jug bought at a market is the aid. In the German Brothers Grimm version, the slipper is made of gold & Aschenputtel's (Cinderella) dead mother is helping her. It's not until the late 17th century & Charles Perrault's version of Cinderella, do you get the glass slippers, fairy godmother & all the elements of the modern story that appear in the Disney version.

    From TV Tropes:

    Complete Monster: For someone that shares a universe with the likes of Malificent, Jafar, Scar, and Chernabog, the Stepmother Lady Tremaine is widely considered one of the most evil, hateful people in all of the Disney Animated Canon.

    Most of the elements of modern romantic comedies can be found in "Cinderella."

    • The Unnoticed Girl - The beautiful girl who no one recognizes as beautiful until someone gives her a makeover (see also "Beauty = Goodness").
    • In Love After Just A Few Minutes - It takes only a brief encounter for the characters to know fate wants them to be together, and they should devote every bit of their life (and the state's as well in going house to house making women try on a slipper) to making the relationship happen.
    • Forces Attempting To Keep True Love Apart - The Evil Stepmother (aka Lady Tremaine) & her two brats play this role for Cinderella, but in modern stories this could be a jealous ex, the respective parents, societal stigmas, etc.
    • "Love Hurts" - This is usually toned down in most modern romantic comedies, but a common element in a lot of fairy tales is the female character undergoing abuse because of her beauty or love for a prince. Most modern stories achieve this by showing the female character's life at the beginning as either miserable because of her job, her social position, or (like Cinderella) the way she's treated by her family. The love story then either serves to break the character from the cycle or exacerbates it, and the abuse gets worse before it gets better.
  •  Favorite of aesop... (9+ / 0-)

    Would have to be the Lion and the Mouse.

    As for kids and books, I was raised in a reading household, so were both my kids. My daughter had greater access to computers, Kindle, tablets, etc than my son did. She also struggled more with vision issues and reading in general because of them. Yet she's the one more likely to be found reading, especially for pleasure.

    Now my son reads well, smooth and fluently. He's enjoyed several books that we've done for school. But he doesn't read a lot outside of school, at least not books, and especially not fiction. He loves 'coffee table books' on things of interest to him, dragons, drawing, art, the civil war, etc. And has two decent sized boxes of such packed right now in his room. But he doesn't read like I read, or like his father reads, or like Caedy reads. Bit doesn't read quite as often as I did at her age, but she reads more than her brother, and she likes fiction and is exploring new genres now that she has the kindle and tablet available to do so. She's also the one likely to take six books out of the library, many of them on tape or mp3.

    I think part of the difference is that for years my son was told by public school teachers and councilors that he couldn't read. Because he didn't do well on their tests, they assumed he had little reading comprehension. And they had no compunction about telling him that, nor in taking books I sent with him to read on the bus out of his backpack as 'contraband'. And no, he wasn't reading it when he shouldn't, I asked. They just didn't think he needed to carry a book with him. So they convinced him he couldn't read and understand what he was reading. Never mind he could compare a book or story he'd read (like a Sherlock Holmes) to a cartoon or movie rendition of that book with stunning accuracy. We read web sites as part of every home school lesson. We also do lit nearly every day, though I try to keep that lighter. I'm still trying to re-instill the love of reading into my son that he showed when he was little and reading picture books. I think that's the thing I'm most furious with the public school system here about. They stole his love of reading.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:42:52 AM PST

    •  that is SOOOO sad! but they won't have taken it (4+ / 0-)

      away forever.i had something similar happen in college - my art professor forgot where he told us to leave our art notebooks at the end of the semester and gave all of us who followed his instructions  'd" for failure to turn them in.

      even after we got our grades, took him to where the books STILL sat, he refused to change the grades.

      as a result, i angrily decided if HE thought my work was no good, then i wouldn't draw anymore.  i put my pens and brushes down for decades.... until i realized he was just a pompous, arrogant idiot!

      i still have initial anger and anxiety when i first start to pull out supplies.  but i DO draw and paint again - just as your son will read.  abusive people cannot stop true passion.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:08:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, Brecht

        This is why I'm very careful what books I chose for us to do, it has to be something he will enjoy. I don't want him to feel like he's being forced to read something boring, or see reading as work at this point in time. I figure he has the rest of his life to explore fiction if I can get him to enjoy reading again. So I'm picking and choosing carefully, and leaving out some traditional classics for now (things with older more stilted language that will be harder for him to decipher with his speech and language delays, for example).

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:30:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, get him bram stoker's dracula! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FloridaSNMOM, high uintas

          that STILL has me hooked years later - i've read it over 25 times, directed it for a pbs segment (at carolina) and for theatre.  that is one of the BEST books ever written.  

          don't do the kindle version.  that one was done gutenberg and at the end of the book, whoever was transcribing was so sloppy that there are incomplete sentences and the ending is nothing like the book (of which i still keep multiple copies for loaning and reading).

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:44:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My wife's school put her in an experimental (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, edrie

      spelling class when she was in grade school. All words were spelled phonetically. This was in the early grades while other students were learning the words with their proper spelling.
      She still can't spell and asks me to spell most words over 4 letters. She is very intelligent and a voracious reader, but her memory won't store words in their proper spelling.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:28:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  was her class the phonetic one or the "flash card" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, FloridaSNMOM

        memorization one.  i was lucky - the school started teaching flash/memory - but i was one week late to start first grade, so mom taught me that first year and i skipped directly into my proper class in the second.

        she taught "sounding out" words and to this day, i can get almost any word through phonetics.  i even won $8,050 on a game show back in the late 70s because of phonetics!

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:47:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The phonetic one. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Spell 'em as they sound.

          I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

          by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:30:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There's a difference between (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gentle Giant, edrie

            spelling phonetically and reading phonetically. The latter works, the former doesn't. A lot of words don't spell phonetically, or there's too many ways phonetically to spell them. Heck, even the word 'phonetically' can be spelled differently phonetically. Foanetikalie for example.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:40:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Precisely. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FloridaSNMOM, edrie

              She wasn't taught all those quirks and exceptions that make English such an interesting language to learn. Silent letters make no sense to her.

              I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

              by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:54:18 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful diary and comments, What a (6+ / 0-)

    great way to start the day!

    •  and it was fun to end it this way, too! (4+ / 0-)

      this is one of the reasons i became a kindle fan - access to the great classic anytime in one tiny place (with backups on the cloud or my laptop!)

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:11:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  nook color owner here. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edrie, FloridaSNMOM, high uintas

        And I bought my wife the nook HD last Christmas. She uses it constantly.

        I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

        by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:29:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what i love about ereaders is that i can carry (3+ / 0-)

          a ton of books that are hard to find - i've got voltaire's work loaded by the buckets, all the classics i've loved and all of them are at my fingertips.  that's where i pulled up aesop last nite and am still enjoying finishing reading the whole thing all over again.

          i've got aristophanese, aristotle, the illiad, the odyssey and more - and i'm loving it!  i don't know if i'll live long enough to start on most modern authors (except for christopher moore - all of his i have and they are personally signed by that wonderful, crazy, intelligent author!)

          yep, i went from disliking ereaders to being an absolute addict!  it is easier to hold an ereader and flip between multiple books in a few seconds than to carry a backpack full and need multiple hands to hold them!

          ocd much?

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:50:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have loaded my nook with apps. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            edrie, FloridaSNMOM, high uintas

            I have a calculator (which I don't often need), a dictionary, a couple of photo apps...
            I carry in the space of one thin novel a small library and reference section.
            I have a series of games, too.

            My wife initially said she wouldn't need or want apps, only books. Well, she has an app that maintains a household inventory and creates shopping lists and I loaded Mah Jongg on it for her. Now she doesn't have to sit at the computer to play. She can be anywhere. The HD is lit for outdoor use, even sunny days. I bought her a glare-reducing screen protector too.

            After being the hubby who has had a few "big idea" presents returned by his loving wife, I get a huge kick out of seeing her use her nook HD every single damn night.

            My shoulders hurt from patting myself on my back so much.

            I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

            by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:36:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  dang! you're making me want to add a nook (4+ / 0-)

              to my crannies!

              good choice - and keep patting - you deserve it!

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:10:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have an old Kindle (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and my daughter bought me Kindle Fire for Christmas. I actually love both of them. I use my older one for reading in bed because it's light and easier on my hands.

                I download my magazines and games and such on the Fire, it's also good for books that have maps or other illustrations. I bought the anniversary edition of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and it has interviews and other video interspersed throughout the book, the Fire is perfect for that. I've got Netflix and Amazon movies on it as well.

                My sis in law has a Nook and it's great, too. E readers are the coolest thing to come out in a long, long time.

                (Back to bed now. Damn flu!)

                "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                by high uintas on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:04:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  oh, poor hu! may you feel better soon - (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  high uintas

                  take good care of yourself - we need you around here!

                  laughter makes the ills go away quicker, so if you haven't already read gaiman and terry pratchett's "good omens: the nice and accurate prophesies of agnes nutter, witch" - go do so immediately!

                  then follow up with a hardy dose of christopher moore, starting with "the lust lizard of melancholy cove" and then just follow from the first one to the last.

                  the good news with chris is that he is working on his next one right now - should be out end of year?  and, if you live in an area he tours, you will definitely want to go listen to him.  not a reading, more like an hour or two of standup political comedy!

                  feel better!

                  EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                  by edrie on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 05:14:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Back for a minute to get my dkos fix (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Good Omens is fantastic! I love Terry Pratchett and it was thru him I found Neil Gaiman. Now I'm in love with him. He wrote an episode of Dr. Who for the 2011 season, I was in ecstasy! It was like combining chocolate and strawberries for the first time, two favorites together.

                    The Doctor's Wife

                    I just put your suggestion on my "next buy" list. The worst part of this flu is I haven't been able to read a book for the last two days, I can't focus. I'm pissed, I'm big on flu shots and got one this year like every year. I talked to my pharmacist and she told me our town has two strains of true flu, not paraflu, that the shot didn't cover. Yay?

                    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

                    by high uintas on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 06:18:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  oh, you are in for such a treat! one suggestion, (0+ / 0-)

                      tho' - don't buy "stupidest angel" until after you've read melancholy cove, island of the sequined love nun, practical demon-keeping and more... and - oh, heck - just read them in order!

                      chris has his characters jump binding to other books - it is awesome running into them in a new setting.

                      stupidest angel was his christmas gift to all of us a few years back - he brought a bunch of favorite characters together in pine cove to do an hysterical "night of the living dead meets christmas (IKEA!) type book!

                      you'll love his work and his sense of humor.

                      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                      by edrie on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 10:56:42 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary! (7+ / 0-)

    One of my favorites is the Sun, the Wind and the Traveler.

    The sun and the wind were arguing who was mightier.  They chose a traveler on whom each would demonstrate their strength.  The winner would be whichever could make the traveler lose his cloak.  The wind blew as hard as he could but the traveler wrapped his cloak even tighter around himself.  The wind admitted defeat.  Then the sun tried.  He shone with all his might.  Soon the traveler was warm and sweating and gladly removed his cloak to enjoy the sunshine.

    The moral, of course, is that kindness is the stronger force.        

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:24:00 AM PST

  •  The Farmer and the Snake (6+ / 0-)

    More commonly remembered now by most as the dog and the scorpion:

    One winter a Farmer found a Snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The Snake was quickly revived by the warmth, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. "Oh," cried the Farmer with his last breath, "I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel."

    The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:48:47 AM PST

  •  One could do a great diary on the Brothers Grimm (6+ / 0-)

    Their original collection of fairy tales that we are all familiar with were, in many cases, much darker and more violent than the tales we are now familiar with.  In the story of Rapunzel, locked up in the tower, for example...she becomes pregnant by the Prince who discovers her.

    There are many examples it the very first edition where children died, and other events later deemed unsuitable for children's tales, were part of the original stories.  In subsequent editions those details were changed, "Disneyfied", so that the original folk stories were made safe for bedtime reading.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:59:26 AM PST

  •  One of my early favorite authors was Vonnegut (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Limelite, edrie, Gentle Giant, Loonesta

    I read almost everything he wrote, and his sense of humor no doubt influenced my is notable a bit dark.

    Edward Abbey was also an influence, and the novels of Thomas McGuane.

    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:04:06 AM PST

    •  i'm embarrassed to admit i've not read (0+ / 0-)

      vonnegut - yet.  and will add abbey and mcguane to the list.  thanks.

      now, to return the favor, try stanislaw lem's work.  start with "star diaries".  lem also wrote solaris, which was became a film later.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:27:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very timely (8+ / 0-)

    We have a new grand baby in our family and last night I thought of a gift that might be appreciated in coming years -- one or two books with an inscription from his great-grandfather, now 78. Is this a good idea? This blog post reinforces the idea.

    •  YES! Absolutely the best gift. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, Mayfly, Limelite, edrie

      My children have books that belonged to their grandfather.  He read these to them when they were little and then, when they were reading on their own, inscribed them and gave them as birthday presents.  They are cherished.

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by Most Awesome Nana on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:50:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  at 67, i still have books that i was given as a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant

      two and three year old.

      absolutely the best gift ever!  i've started collecting special children's books (amazon) and giving them to young friends.

      books that influenced me as a child still hold those same magic words to shape others!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:29:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nice. All our books were shared among the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        four of us. They pretty much wore out. I remember one that contained 365 bedtime stories.

        My father read them to us, doing all the voices with the proper emotion and inflection. He really made them come alive. I did the same for my sons. My younger son told me a few days ago that he is reading to his friends' son and does the voices too.

        Sometimes, Dad would read us a story, and then read it backwards. One of my sons loved this. The other would holler for me to knock it off.

        Before my older son could read, he'd memorized several of the Little Critter books. He'd "read" them to his classmates in Pre-K. The teacher told us he'd get every word exact and turned the pages always at the proper time. Mercer Mayer draws a mouse and spider in nearly every frame of his books. My son also pointed out their location to his classmates.

        He's married now, and I am awaiting my first grandchild, but no pressure on my son or DIL. She is a nanny with a degree in Child Psychology. They will be superb parents.

        I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

        by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:47:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  what fun you have in store - and the joy of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant, barbwires

          seeing your dad's legacy continue must be so cool!

          i recently tracked down a book i loved when in the third grade.  i wanted to check it out of the school library but was told it was a "fourth grade" book and couldn't.  SO, i got myself made a library monitor and checked it out to myself.  i loved that book - and recently located it on amazon for $25.  now it is mine but not "mine" - currently, it is on loan to the first of a number of young people who will be reading it.

          one young friend who is dyslexic and has a bit of trouble reading just got his birthday present from me - about 75 50+ year old dc and marvel comics (justice league, superman, superwoman, and more).  he dived right into them and is joyfully telling me what they are about! (mission accomplished!  another "reader" is on his way!)

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:59:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Comic books often serve the function of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            keeping kids interested who are too old for bedtime stories and not yet self-disciplined or mature enough to set aside time to read or to search for something that might pique their interests.

            My cousin had a ton including first issues of some 60s titles. His dad had a burning barrel fetish. Alas, the two were not compatible under the same roof.

            Seriously, the man burnt a clean, perfect-functioning clock radio that belonged to his daughter. It was very weird.

            I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

            by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:43:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ouch! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gentle Giant

              and now for another "burning barrel" story - i loaned my favorite professor the complete collection of mad magazine, since he'd never read them.

              a few months later, i asked if he were through with them, he happily smiled, said he enjoyed them and then said he threw them out.  

              my retirement would have been paid for with that collection... 8^(

              oh, well, my prof was worth the oops!

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:24:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Great idea. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I also highly recommend Mercer Mayer's "Little Critter" books for tikes, especially pre-school age. They tend to mark the milestones in little ones' lives, are fun to look at and very cute stories.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:39:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Androcles and the Lion (7+ / 0-)

    Remember the story of the slave who took a splinter out of a lion's paw, thereby relieving the lion of a great deal of pain?

    Later, when the runaway slave was led into the arena to be torn apart by lions, the captured lion, now healed, recognized him and refused to kill him.

    I'm not terribly sure that's Aesop, but I hope it is.  \

    LOVE this diary, Edrie!  Thanks for reminding me of the fables.  Only yesterday I was laughing to myself about The Three Sillies.  That story was later than Aesop, but you're right:  these stories stay with us for the rest of our lives.  Teaching them to our children is time well spent.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:36:02 AM PST

    •  androcles is one of my favorite stories, too. i (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diana in NoVa, barbwires

      think that one of the reasons i've never been "afraid" to help injured animals is that story.  i've always been able to "communicate" that i'm there to help - and rarely have i ever encountered a problem.  when there has been one, it has never been serious or dangerous.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:34:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Androcles and the Lion. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I can not read it or even hear the title without hearing Bob Keeshan's voice.
      So much of my early knowledge of culture is directly due to Captain Kangaroo.

      I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

      by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:49:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  my favorite was mr green jeans - even though (0+ / 0-)

        i was fully "adult".  if you remember a show where there was a big white fully mommy dog and her eight pups (wee bairns they were), that was my ariadne and her babies (including david niven).  

        when the filming started and mr green jeans was introducing them on air, ari stood up and took advantage of having such a wonderful babysitter and took off to explore the studio!  we all laughed while he did pup-duty.  i loved the way he described her as a "mobile milk bar".

        that was in the early 70s...

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 02:13:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Before Aesop...Panchatantra (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have to run but hope to read the diary and thread later. Great idea to promote the value of The Humanities!


  •  The Horse and the Pestering Puppy: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A horse was dining on grass in her pasture. A curious puppy wandered over and, as puppies will, began barking at the horse with no provocation and scurried around the horse's legs, weaving in and out and around her.

    The horse could have but kicked the puppy away, but having been a mother herself, she was blessed with great patience for young creatures of all kinds.

    But her patience was wearing thin and, after a time, she pinned the puppy down with her nose and quietly asked him, "Why won't you stop barking?!?"

    The puppy backed away saying, "Oh wow! A talking horse!"

    Moral: A squeaky wheel saves nine in the hand is better than two wrongs don't make a purse out of a sow's ear.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:20:17 PM PST

    •  awesome! you reminded me of one funny incident (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gentle Giant, barbwires

      in ny many many years ago.

      my second sammy, david niven, was very "talkative" - he "talked" to everyone who would listen.  one night we were out for our usual long walk in ny when we stopped to talk to a carriage driver.  david started "talking" to the horse.  after a while, his determined deliberate barks began to irritate the poor horse, who couldn't step aside due to being harnessed.

      when he got tired of being a "captive audience", he reached down and picked david up by his nose - just the tip - never hurt him but DID lift him off his  front feet.  david went "YEOOOOOWWWWwwPPPP!" and the horse matter of factly dropped him.  needless to say, david learned his lesson.  he never barked in the face of a horse again!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:40:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perfect, edrie. Just perfect! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I'll remember that every time I tell that story. I'm very glad you shared that with me.

        I grew up around horses but didn't ride much. That's because I would be thrown nearly every time. But I love horses and have no problems feeding or walking them.

        A friend owned a polo horse. We couldn't figure out why the horse was afraid of me. He was fine with everybody else but would back away from me every time I approached, no matter from what angle or no matter how slowly and carefully.

        Finally, she figured out that I was the only person the horse had ever seen whose eye level was higher than his. This bore out when she rode him into a lakeside park one day right up to where I sat on a picnic table. Her horse actually nuzzled me and allowed me to pet him. Until I stood up to take a dip. Then we were right back where we started.

        I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

        by Gentle Giant on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 12:56:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  she was worried that you'd want to go for a (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant, jarbyus, dewtx, barbwires

          ride!  horses like to feel "bigger" than others - even the little guys - they puff and swell to add to their "stature" - and, from your sig line, i am guessing you are a bit tall.

          you can come meet MY pony - he's a big guy - not as much tall as LOOOOOONNNNNNGGGG - but his neck can put his head high enough to change the bulbs in a very tall ceiling.  he loves to raise his head when i'm trying to was his face and then holding it over me, totally drenching me.  giving him a bath always entails "getting a shower".

          don't know if you've seen the wonderful portrait picture remembrance took of us - just in case you missed it, here it is again - enjoy!

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 01:07:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My mom did a lovely translation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of many of Aesop's fables from the ancient Greek.  I can't find them now, but was holding on for a long time looking for the perfect illustrator.

    She was teaching me Greek from them, when I was 4-5.  Needless to say I found reading in elementary school pretty dull!  I don't remember any Greek though except fragments.  Like 'o Boreas the north wind--that was the name of a favorite doll.  

    I think my favorite story was of the willow and the oak and the north wind; how the oak tree was so proud and tall, but when the north wind blew the willow bent, but the oak tree did fall.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:23:33 PM PST

  •  Here has always been my favorite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Lion with Bad Breath

    Retold from Aesop by Rohini Chowdhury

    The Lion was in a bad mood. That morning his wife, the Lioness, had told him that his breath smelled, and that perhaps he needed to do something about it. The Lion had pretended not to care, and had roared loudly and angrily just to show the Lioness who was king. Secretly though, he was worried.

    So as soon as the Lioness left the den to go about her day's work, the Lion called his three counsellors - the Sheep, the Wolf and the Fox.

    First he called the Sheep. 'Tell me, Sheep,' growled the Lion, 'do you think my breath smells?'

    The Sheep thought the Lion wanted to know the truth. So she bowed low before the Lion and said, 'Your Majesty, your breath smells terrible. In fact, it smells so bad that it is making me feel quite ill.'

    This was not what the Lion had wanted to hear. Roaring angrily, and calling the Sheep a fool, he pounced on her and bit her head off.

    Then he called the Wolf. 'Tell me, Wolf,' growled the Lion sharpening his claws, 'do you think my breath smells?'

    The Wolf had seen the dead Sheep on the way, and he had no plans to end up the same way. He bowed low before the Lion and said, 'Your Majesty! How can you ask me that? Your breath smells as sweet as the flowers in spring, as fresh as the...'

    He could not finish what he was going to say. 'Liar!' roared the Lion, and ripped him to pieces.

    At last the Lion called the Fox. The Fox came warily; she had seen the dead Sheep and the dead Wolf on the way.

    'Tell me, Fox,' growled the Lion, sharpening his claws and yawning widely so that the Fox could see his long sharp teeth, 'do you think my breath smells?'

    The Fox coughed and sneezed and blew her nose, and then clearing her throat noisily, said in a hoarse whisper, 'Your Majesty, forgive me. I have such a nasty cold that I cannot smell a thing!'

    Survivalism is a skill well worth learning That's my interpretation

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:28:18 AM PST

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