March 02, 2024

#08-842: The Story of Kisa Gotami

Kisa Gotami presents her dead son to the Buddha (Facebook)

Note: How hard it is to let go of a loved one at his or her death! This heart-breaking story gives us a clue as to how to survive such a tragedy.

Get Ready: Do you know anyone who has never lost a loved one?

March 01, 2024

#08-841: Pudd'nhead Wilson

Publicity photo from a silent film version of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1916) (Wikimedia)

Note: We take for granted some of the most common "CSI"-type technology. But there was a time when fingerprint technology was unknown. This combines with a story of racial inequality to make one of Twain's more interesting novels.

Get Ready: What do you think might happen when a child is raised to believe certain things about himself, and discovers in his 20s that they just aren't true?

February 29, 2024

#08-840: The King of the Golden Mountain

The black dwarf and the merchant and son (Wikipedia)

Note: Magic almost never delivers on its "promise"; it seems there's always a catch, as in this story. Still, an honest person can come out all right in the end!

Get Ready: What qualities must a folk-hero have to come out on top in the end?

February 27, 2024

#08-839: The Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba visits Solomon, by Tintoretto (Wikipedia)

Note: For a woman who is barely mentioned at all, the fabulously-wealthy Queen of Sheba has had an out-sized effect on culture. Just ask my sister!

Get Ready: What would you call a powerful, perhaps arrogant, woman?

February 19, 2024

#08-838: Great Expectations

Miss Havisham, Pip, and Joe (Wikipedia)

Note: I first read Great Expectations in 8th grade, and again in adulthood; it was stunning both times.

Get Ready: What (if anything) is the "secret of success" in this world?

#08-837: The Great Stone Face

The Old Man of the Mountain, original of The Great Stone Face (Wikipedia)

Note: This is a story of inspiration, and how a boy spent his life looking for genius in all the wrong places.

Get Ready: What kind of person might inspire you to greatness: a millionaire: A general? A politician? A poet?

#08-836: The Legend of Kynast

Castle Chojnik ("Hoynik"), the original of Kynast Castle (Wikipedia)

Note: This is a story of cruelty--and revenge, a warning to all who would trifle with the hearts of others.

Get Ready: How much should a person put up with in order to win the one they love?