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The Three Sluggards

The Three SluggardsThe Three Sluggards

Who doesn’t love picking up a slug out of the garden and letting it crawl all over your hands leaving slimy trails? I’m going to go ahead and admit that I have not picked up a slug in years. This story isn’t about slugs though, it’s about lazy people, or at least people who lie about how lazy they are. It’s short, so I’ll type it.

A certain king had three sons who were all equally dear to him, and he did not know which of them to appoint as his successor after his own death. When the time came when he was about to die, he summoned them to his bedside and said: “Dear children, I have been thinking of something which I will declare unto you; whichsoever of you is the laziest shall have the kingdom.” The eldest said: “Then, father, the kingdom is mine, for I am so idle that if I lie down to rest, and a drop falls in my eye, I will not open it that I may sleep.” The second said: “Father, the kingdom belongs to me, for I am so idle that when I am sitting by the fire warming myself, I would rather let my heel be burnt off than draw back my leg.” The third said: “Father, the kingdom is mine, for I am so idle that if I were going to be hanged, and had the rope already round my neck, and any one put a sharp knife into my hand with which I may cut the rope, I would rather let myself be hanged than raise my hand to the rope.” When the father heard that, he said: “You have carried it farthest, and shall be king.”

The End

Observations

As long as I have known anything about history, I have always heard that the eldest son gets the kingdom providing he’s not dead. Then the kingdom would pass onto the next oldest son, and so on, if they happened to all be murdering each other or were just extremely unlucky in health. Why is this king choosing between his three son of different ages? If they were triplets, I would understand the confusion, but they’re not. Is there a tradition in certain parts of Europe, or did there used to be a tradition in certain parts of Europe, where the king chose who he liked best rather than letting the throne go to the oldest son? Not to my knowledge, but I am not an authority on European history. So this story is just a little historically inaccurate on that count.

Themes

Look, the king is not rewarding his sons’ laziness; he’s rewarding their creativity and their ability to lie. If these sons were truly lazy they wouldn’t have taken the brain power to think up how lazy each of them were. Actually, if they were truly lazy, they would display their laziness by lying on the floor and if they couldn’t roll over, they would just give up and stay on their backs until someone bodily moved them. I would also suggest that a truly lazy person is going to say “lazy” and not “idle” when speaking of being lazy. The princes have already proved that they are not lazy simply by the language they use. It’s a contest of wits, not laziness.

The youngest son has proved not only that he’s creative, quick-thinking, and competitive, but he’s also proven that he’s ready to please his father. His father sees him as the best fit. The youngest son is ready to swear to his death, without actually ending up dead. That could be a very good trait for a king to have. We all want a king who would be willing to ride along side of us in battle and swear that they would shed his blood in defense of us and his country, but we still kind of need a king.

In essence, a king is a politician. What do politicians needs to be able to do? They need to be able to talk smoothly, swear allegiance, and be crafty with their wording. The youngest son pretty much has all of that covered. He gets the job.

Overall

Well, I hope he didn’t lazily rule the kingdom.



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The Old Beggar-Woman

The Old Beggar-WomanThe Old Beggar-Woman

No, this Grimm’s fairy tale has nothing to do with The Hunger Games, but I thought a girl on fire was an appropriate picture for this post. It’s short so I’m just going to type it.

There was once an old woman, but you have surely seen and old woman go a-begging before now? This woman begged likewise, and when she got anything she said: “May God reward you.” The beggar-woman came to a door, and there by the fire a friendly rogue of a boy was standing warming himself. The boy said kindly to the poor old woman as she was standing shivering thus by the door: “Come, old mother, and warm yourself.” She came in, but stood too near the fire, so that her old rags began to burn, and she was not aware of it. The  boy stood and saw that, but he ought to have put the flames out. Is it not true that he ought to have put them out? And if he had not any water, then he should have wept all the water in his body out of his eyes, and that would have supplied two pretty streams with which to extinguish them.

The End

Observations

The old woman died because she stood too near the fire and her dress caught on fire. Now, you may think this story is cruel, but this isn’t exactly that uncommon. Well, these days it is uncommon, but back when everyone had fireplaces, you probably had heard of a woman who had died in this very manner. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s second wife died in this manner. You know Henry, he’s a poet.

Why did this happen? Why didn’t somebody put out the fire?

This cruel and terrible death happened because women did wear long skirts and they cooked over the fireplace. Fireplaces weren’t always as refined as they are now. A woman could be stooping over the fire stirring the contents of her dutch-oven when just the hem of her dress brushed against some red-hot coals. She may not have known she was on fire for a little bit, because she wore so many layers and the dress was so long, but once the dress got to burning, there really wasn’t any stopping it.

So why didn’t anybody put out the fire? Well, where was the water going to come from? People didn’t know about stop-drop-and-roll. People didn’t have any indoor plumbing. So water had to come from the small water pitcher which may be in the house or they had the haul butt to the well or creek to gather more water. So by the time someone got enough water to put out a dress fire the burns were probably already severe. Of course the women panicked and probably flailed around which was only going to enrich the flames with oxygen.

You also have to consider that if you jumped in to help put out the fire, you were risking your life. It’s true that this wasn’t a house fire or a field fire, it’s one woman, but with medical care of the days, the resulting burns would be pretty close to a death sentence. So, yes, people did shy away from putting a woman out who was on fire. It was pretty much an every-man-for-himself situation. If a woman had happened to be making candles or rendering fat at the time her dress caught fire, that only made her burn faster.

Themes

This story is more or less a little song. It’s not really meant to be this huge story. It does ask a question though. this story asks the reader if he or she thinks the boy should have put the old woman out. It’s really a question of ethics. What is your personal philosophy? Should the boy risk his life to put the aged woman out, a woman who would die soon by the sound of it, or should he preserve his strength and youth to continue being a valuable part of the community? That’s some real Ayn Rand stuff right there.

Overall

Let’s all put on our philosopher hats.



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The Beam

The BeamThe Beam

Things are not always as they seem.

Once upon a time there was a magician showing off his skills in town. He brought in a rooster, which then carried a large beam as if it were nothing. A young girl who had just found a four-leaf clover and as a result was very wise, saw that it was not a beam at all, but a piece of straw. When the girl pointed this out everyone else saw what she saw and the magician was very angry.

He waited for a time. It soon  came time for the girl’s wedding. She came to as stream. There was no bridge so she hiked up her skirts in order to cross the water. The magician happened to be there and said, “You silly girl; you think that’s water!” It turns out it was not water, but a field of blue flax. Everyone at the wedding ridiculed her and chased her out-of-town.

The End

Observations

I didn’t know that four-leaf clovers made you wise. I just thought they were supposed to make you lucky.

The BeamThemes

There are a couple of things I would like to address in this story.

So this girl points out the magician’s fraud, which makes him look bad, but then he tricks her into thinking she sees something else. He points out that what she is seeing is not really what is there and then everyone makes fun of her and runs her off. Does this not seem a little one-sided? Nobody ran the magician out-of-town when he was embarrassed. The people were probably just like, “Oh that old dork, he’s always up to something,” and then they promptly forgot about his embarrassment. With the girl they made fun of her so much that she ran out-of-town. That is not nice. The situations were very similar, but yet, the woman’s situation ended up much worse. Thanks, all you jerks. Way to be sexist.

Underlying all of this is one of those screwed up media and societal messages we subconsciously pass onto our children. It’s ok to make fun of a woman so severely that she runs out-of-town, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere when it’s a man. If a man sees something that isn’t really what it is, then it’s totally ok, he’s only human, but if a woman mistakes one thing for another thing, it’s ok to make fun of her non-stop; she’s only a woman.

Didn’t she have a husband? I assume this was not a same-sex wedding. So this woman has a husband somewhere, but he doesn’t step in at all to come to her defense. He must be just as much of a jerk as everyone else is. Was he afraid to stand up for his wife because that would be un-macho of him? I hope she found another man in the town she ran off to.

All of this isn’t necessarily important to the story at large, but it is important to point out items in a story that pass on unspoken gender roles or traditions that may seem unfair or backwards. If you can’t identify something, how are you supposed to protect yourself against it?

Things are not always as they seem. The village was entranced by this magic trick. They were convinced that this trick was real. This rooster really was carrying a large beam. It was freaking amazing! A girl comes along with her four-leaf clover, or we could just say women’s intuition and observes that the rooster is carrying a piece of straw. The trick isn’t so magical then. The act isn’t so mesmerizing. Once one person points out the flaw everyone else knows what to look for. Then later on, the girl thinks she’s wading across a stream, but it’s really just flowers. She was convinced that it was water until someone else pointed out to her that it was not water.

I have two thoughts on this situation. First off, sometimes we need someone from the outside to give us criticism. They can see problems from the outside that we can’t see from the inside. This is why people go to marriage counseling and psychiatrists. What makes sense in our brains, isn’t necessarily what should make sense. Sometimes we need a person to be like, “Look, honey, you’re freaking crazy, you can’t threaten to chop off your husband’s head every night. Normal couples don’t do that.” Sometimes that’s all it takes. We only need that one little piece of advice to realize that things have gotten out of hand.

My second thought on all of this is that sometimes we’re mesmerized. We get so caught up in an atmosphere that we ignore the truth and the truth is right in front of us. The people in this town thought they saw a beam when it was only a piece of straw. They were caught up in this crowd moment. They all saw it. They all wanted to see it. I’m sure, even without a four-leaf clover, someone would have looked on and realized that everyone was being stupid. If everyone else thinks it’s right, we want to think it’s right too. We want to fit in. So if everyone sees a beam when there is only a straw, we want to see a beam too. We might even lie and say we see a beam when we only see a piece of straw. It’s only when someone else has enough balls to speak up and say it’s a piece of straw that we’ll admit that it was just a piece of straw and not a beam, but maybe we won’t. Maybe we liked the excitement and togetherness of the situation so much that we’ll deny that the beam is a piece of straw even when there is plenty of evidence to say otherwise. Then we’ll blame the person who spoke up with trying to incite riots and other bull crap like that. We don’t like it when people point out the truths right in front of our noses.

Overall

Hmm…magicians. David Copperfield. Penn and Teller. Houdini. I like Penn and Teller.



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The Lord's Animals and the Devil'sThe Lord’s Animals and the Devil’s

Darn goats! They’re always eating everything and making weird noises. Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a few goats on my property.

Once upon a time the Lord had created all the animals, but had forgotten the goat. He had taken the wolf the be his dog. The Devil decided he would create the goat instead, but he made the goat with a long tail. The goats were always getting caught in brambles and the Devil was constantly having to free them when their tails got caught. He got so fed up with all of this that he bit their tails off and that’s why goats have short tails.

The Lord saw that the goats were eating all his beautiful plants so he had his dogs kill the goats. The Devil was upset about this and demanded repayment from God. God asked him why he made a creature that destroyed things and the Devil said it was in his nature as the Devil. God said he would repay the Devil, but only after the last oak leaf had fallen off the oak trees. The Devil waited and when it seemed winter was firmly on its way, the Devil demanded his payment, but God said there was still an oak tree in a far off land that still held its leaves. The Devil went to wait for the leaves to fall off of that tree, but by the time the leaves fell off of that tree, all the leaves had already grown back on all the other oak trees. This meant the Devil never got repayment for his destroyed goats. He was so angry that he plucked out all the eyes of his goats and put his own in. This is why goats have the Devil’s eyes.

The End

The Lord's Animals and the Devil'sObservations

So the Lord is all-seeing, all-powerful, and ever-present, but he forgets to make a goat– I don’t think so.

From my knowledge of Christian theology, the Devil never played any part of the creation of any type of creature that walks or has ever walked upon the Earth.

With that being said, goats are associated with the Devil. There is one goat in particular that is pretty much a symbol for Satanism. That goat is called the Goat of Mendes. Mendes was a city in ancient Egypt. The local god of Mendes was depicted as a ram and was not considered evil, but being as goats are somewhat stubborn and weird-looking, they were generally viewed as having two sides. As time went by Eliphas Levi, an occultist and magician, drew the ram head inside of a pentagram. This symbol is now considered the “go to” sign for the Devil in many instances. There is also another goat associated with the Devil and that goat is named Baphomet. It’s more like a guy with a goat’s head. Eliphas Levi is also credited with one of the first drawings for this creation as well. If you want, you can totally Google an image of Lady Gaga using this same exact pose, that everyone uses to claim she is a devil worshipper, perhaps she is.

The Lord's Animals and the Devil'sThemes

God and the Devil are two entities we don’t see as human. God is not human; he’s God, or she, he/she, whatever you want to believe. He’s perfect. The Devil is not perfect, but he’s also not human. He can make terrible things happen that we could never possibly dream of engineering ourselves, at least not without his help. My point in saying all of this is that this story depicts both God and the Devil more as humans rather than the deity God is and the strange super-natural being the Devil is. We often don’t think about them coming down to our level; in this story, they have.

It’s about personalizing religion. We try to make our Gods a little more like ourselves. That’s why God forgot to make a goat in this story, when in reality, he wouldn’t forget to make a goat because he’s all-knowing. That’s why he tricks the Devil. Do you think God goes around tricking people? God is supposed to be loving; he doesn’t go around tricking the ones he loves. We expect anger from the Devil because he’s the Devil, but we don’t expect that he would fall for a trick like the one in this story, but yet, we keep running into stories where someone tricks the Devil. Personally,  I think he’s probably smart enough not to be tricked.

Basically, this is one of those stories where someone wants to say that the goat is the Devil’s animal because it ate his underwear off the clothesline and that God isn’t so unlike the rest of humanity.

Overall

Does it not seem a bit hypocritical that the goats destroyed some plants, but God destroyed the goats with his dogs, but then got onto the Devil for making animals that destroy other things, but at the same time God’s dogs totally destroyed the Devil’s goats?

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The Old Man Made Young AgainThe Old Man Made Young Again

I think most of us get older and realize that there was probably more we could have done with our youth, but none of us really ever get a chance to re-live those days. So we know we just have to try better from here on out. The man in this tale  gets a second chance.

Once upon a time in the days when the Lord walked the earth with St. Peter they came upon an old beggar man outside of a Smith’s shop. The smith was obliging and let the Lord and St. Peter stay there for the night. The beggar asked for some food. St. Peter suggested to the Lord that his ailments be healed so he could get food for himself. Apparently the Lord thought this was a great idea. The Lord took the old man and asked if he could borrow the smith’s equipment. He put the man in the fire and heated it and heated it. The man glowed red. The Lord took him out of the forge fire and put him in a cooling tub, then blessed him. The man now looked as if he were twenty. He praised the Lord and everyone went on their way.

The smith had an aged mother-in-law who wanted to be young again. She suggested to the smith that he had observed everything the Lord had done and he could turn her young again. The smith thought it would be good to try this out. He put her in the fire, but instead of getting younger she burned all the while screaming murder. He took her out, put her in the cooling tub which sizzled and she was more wrinkled than ever. The smith’s wife and daughter-in-law came down the stairs because of the commotion. They were both pregnant at the time and the shock of seeing the mother-in-law in such a state caused them to go into labor. Both the children were born that night, both boys, but they were not regular children. They were covered in hair. The children took off and ran into the woods almost as soon as they were born and from them descended the apes.

The End

The Old Man Made Young AgainObservations

Riddle me this Batman, how do two male creatures produce an entire species of animal? Don’t you kind of need a male and female? Is this story suggesting that somehow the species of apes came about because of a pair of homosexual ape-men? I guess that would be something some backwards thinking hick might suggest… people and their phobias and stereotypical assumptions.

Why do people think the Lord walked the Earth during the time of blacksmiths? Well, I guess he’s the Lord and he can walk the Earth any darn time he pleases. I don’t really get this trend that people want to put God among themselves. Well, I do get it, people want to personalize God, but this story suggests that this was a long, darn time ago. How long ago? Apparently, it was so long ago that apes didn’t exist yet. That’s a long, long time ago. Maybe God did walk the Earth then, but even if we’re looking at this from a purely religious standpoint, all the animals were created before man. On the sixth day man was created after all the creatures of the Earth had already been created, then woman as the crowning creation. So Biblically, this story is inaccurate. Evolutionarily, this story is also inaccurate. According to evolutionary theory the ape came before the man. So on two accounts this story is wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Old Man Made Young AgainThemes

I am not of an age where I want to be young again. I hated being 16.  I hated being 18. I hated being 23, which is the age everyone says they would want to go back to; I sure as heck don’t want to. I am more of the opinion that I am a better me each year that passes. I don’t feel as if I have necessarily lost anything by not doing such and such thing in my youth. Let’s see, many art contests, good grades, good SAT scores, early college, two college degrees, piano, plays, vocal training, working in health care for three years, practically raising my two youngest brothers, living overseas for three years, and much more…you know, I don’t necessarily think I have anything I am ashamed of for not doing, unless it’s being a little more wild and a little less responsible. I do not have a desire to be younger. There are people my age who do though and it flummoxes me. I can’t comprehend why they would want to be any younger.

People are obsessed with this idea of perpetual youth. They want to look young forever. We’re not supposed to look young forever. We’re supposed to get old, and then, we’re supposed to die. That’s how life works. If you don’t like the way your life turned out, then you should have made some better choices, granted there are situations in which life just throws crap and lemons at you without any sugar and when that happens it’s hard to win even if you try really, really hard.

This mother-in-law wants to be young and hot again. She persuades her son-in-law to try it out. Surely, he absorbed the secret to making a person young again. Here’s the thing–the Lord chose to make the old man young again, but he did not choose to make the old woman young again. The old man had no desire other than to eat, but the old woman surely had some ulterior motive. There are really two facets to this scenario. Firstly, the Lord was the only one with the power to make a person young again. Nobody granted this power to the black smith. Secondly, the reward would come to those who deserved it and would use it wisely. The old man is going to find food for himself, but maybe he’s going to nearest whore house to spend every bit of money he makes, I don’t know. The deal is, the old woman sought this out, but the old man did not. There are many times in life where that is how it works. If you don’t seek something, it comes to you. If you do seek something, it doesn’t come to you. It’s like waiting for a pot of water to boil; if you watch it, it’s going to take forever.

A word on proper authority–this is a big deal. Some people have the power or authority to do certain things while others do not. If you want to get married, you have to be married by an ordained minister or judge, you can’t get married by the guy driving the ice cream truck; he doesn’t have the proper authority. The Lord had the authority in this story, while the black smith did not. End of story.

Overall

I don’t think this story accurately explains where apes came from. I’m glad the person who made up this story doesn’t write text books.



 
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The Turnip

The TurnipThe Turnip

Turnips are awesome!

Said no one ever. I don’t even think I’ve actually even eaten a turnip in my life.

Once upon a time there were two brothers and they were both soldiers, but one was rich and the other one was poor. The poor one couldn’t make very much money off of soldiering so hung up his coat and became a farmer. He planted turnips. As the plants grew, it became apparent that one turnip was growing larger than the others. It grew and grew and grew until it would fill up an entire wagon just by itself. The man thought on what to do with this gigantic turnip. If he sold it, he would only get money for a little while. If hate it, it would just be gone because he could eat the smaller turnips just as well. He finally decided to give it to the king.

The king was impressed with the man’s turnip, being as it was the largest one he had ever seen. The soldier asked the king to accept his gift. He also went on to say that the king knew his brother, but no one knew him because he was poor. The king decided that all of this should be remedied and the man was provided with wealth, property and other riches.

The rich brother became jealous. He figured if his brother could get all of that for a turnip surely he could do better. He presented the king with gold and jewels. The king agreed that it was all very nice swag, but he had nothing tremendous to give the rich brother in return except for a giant turnip. HA!

The rich brother was irritated at all of this and contrived to kill his brother. He told him that he knew where some buried treasure was and that the two of them should go out and dig it up in a brotherly bonding experience. The brother agreed. So on the way, murderers attacked the brother. They were just about to hang him up in a tree when they heard hoof beats. They decided to abandon their murder, instead they put the brother in a sack and hung him in a tree.

The hoof beats belonged to the horse of a scholar. The brother called down to the scholar from his tree. He said he was learning all there was to know up in that sack. The scholar begged him to have a turn. The brother told him he had to wait an hour. So the scholar paced impatiently underneath the brother for and hour. After the hour was up, the brother told the scholar to let him down and they would trade places. The scholar let the brother down. He got out and then told the scholar to get in. The scholar got in head ride-side up, but the brother told him that would not do. He turned the scholar upside down, then hoisted him into the tree. He told the scholar he should already feel the knowledge rushing to his head. The brother then rode off on the scholar’s horse. He did send someone back to cut the scholar down in a little while.

The End

The TurnipObservations

Your brother tries to murder you, so you hang a student up in a tree, somehow, this doesn’t seem right. What of the brother? What does he do afterwards to the other brother? Does he just say, “Hey it’s ok that you tried to kill me”? (I really need to refresh my mind as to the placement of punctuation in concerns to quotation marks, so forgive any errors)

Like I said before, I don’t ever recall eating a turnip. Are they good? What do they taste like? I’m not really sure. I keep thinking of radishes, but turnips and radishes are not the same thing. I have had turnip greens though. I know people like how they taste, but I really don’t. More about turnips, your Jack O’Lanterns originated with turnips and not pumpkins. How sad. Stingy Jack carried around a hollowed-out turnip in his never-ending not-life-but-not-death with a light inside to light his way.

This reminds me of a Brer Rabbit story. Brer Rabbit was once in a tree, caught in a trap set by one of the other Brer animals. He tells another Brer animal that he’s making a dollar a minute up in the tree, so the animal decides he’s got to try for himself, thus Brer Rabbit gets free.

I’m going to Google a picture of a big turnip for this section of my post.

The TurnipThemes

Right, so the poor brother gave what he had, which was a giant turnip. It wasn’t of much worth. It probably wasn’t pretty. Eventually, it was going to rot, but this brother gave his only item of any worth, in any sense, to the king. The king repays this grand sacrifice by giving him many riches of worth in the eyes of men. The rich brother on the other hand, tries to buy more wealth, with the wealth he already has. It would be silly to repay wealth with more wealth, so a giant turnip is quite a novel idea. It’s sentimental and unique rather than that old, trite wealth and money everyone keeps talking about.

This story is about sacrifice. If you give up something of great worth to yourself, even though it’s not of great worth to the world, the general idea is that you’re going to be repaid handsomely. The second brother gave up what he already had and he had plenty. There was no real sacrifice there. The first brother was gambling of course, the king might not have given him anything in return, but this story has some religious undertones.

There are no outright religious references in this story, but it’s very similar to many religious parables. It even somewhat references a New Testament saying, “And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God,” found in Matthew 19: 24. There is no camel in this story and there is no heaven, it’s all metaphors, symbols and types. The king is your equivalent of God in this story. He realizes what a great sacrifice this one turnip is to the poor man so he grants him rewards beyond measure in return, or in religious talk, eternal salvation and heavenly mansions. The rich brother tries to buy his way into heaven, in a sense, with money. You can’t buy your way into heaven. The money was not a real sacrifice to the rich man, the king saw this and he rewarded the rich man with what he deserved, which was a turnip that was probably already going bad.

Also, consider the idea of the “last shall be first and the first shall be last.” The roles of the two brothers were exchanged when they met their judgement by the king.

Moving on, the story does not speak of any retaliation on the part of the first brother for the act of almost being murdered by the second brother. Maybe because he knows he is in God’s(the king’s) good graces and would do as the king would have and forgives his brother for this trespass, but that still doesn’t explain why he ties a student up in a tree.

I’m thinking the part of the story with the student is just a several-hundred-year-old way of making fun of nerds. People are always picking on other people who want to learn. They think it’s a stupid waste of time. Just you wait– we’re going to rule the world.

I also want to point out that some people think their “book learning” is so important. They think it’s the only thing that matters and they don’t need anything else to get by on life. Sure, you can be a professional student your entire life, but you’ve got to pay the electricity bill somehow. Common knowledge and working knowledge are also very essential to life. You cannot neglect an area of knowledge and get very far in life, if you do, it’s only by pure luck. This student had plenty of “book learning,” but he sadly lacked in common sense. Anyone with common sense would know that sitting in a tree, in a sack, was not going to make you any smarter, in fact, it’s probably going to make you dumber because the blood flow to your brain is probably going to be restricted somehow by being in a sack.

Overall

I’m sensing that this was not the original-original story. I could be wrong on that though.

Turnips for crying out loud!


 
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The Ungrateful Son

The Ungrateful SonThe Ungrateful Son

Well, this tale is short, sweet(not really), and weird. It’s so short I’m going to type the whole thing.

A man and his wife were once sitting by the door of their house, and they had a roasted chicken set before them, and were about to eat it together. Then the man saw that his aged father was coming, and hastily took the chicken and hit it, for he would not permit him to have any of it. The old man came, took a drink, and went away. Now the son wanted to put the roasted chicken on the table again, but when he took it up, it had become a great toad, which jumped into his face and sat there and never went away again, and if any one wanted to take it off, it looked venomously at him as if it would jump in his face, so that no one would venture to touch it. And the ungrateful son was forced to feed the toad every day, or else it fed itself on his face; and thus he went about the world knowing no rest.

The End

Observations

Out of all the crazy things, there is a story about a toad who lives on someone’s face. I guess there are worse things that could live on your face, but what are they? Toads can give you salmonella.

Now you may think that a toad would not eat a person’s face, but you know, you’re kind of wrong. I know you’re thinking that toads and frogs eat insects only. You’re wrong. The bigger the toad or frog, the bigger things it eats. Large frogs have been known to eat mice and birds, also other frogs. You may also be thinking that an amphibian creature would not eat a person. I think you’re probably also wrong on that count, but I could be wrong on that count. I do know reptiles are not picky about eating people. I once watched an episode of Fatal Attractions where a man died of an infected lizard bite and his lizards ate his face off, but reptiles and amphibians are not the same thing.

How does a chicken turn into a frog, I mean toad? Maybe we’re talking about the ergot laden bread again. Maybe the couple had been munching on some ergot laden bread, they started hallucinating and just thought this toad was a roasted chicken. They just happened to come down off of their high when the dad went away so they could see what the roasted chicken was in reality.

How do you look at someone venomously? I’m going to start looking at people in that manner.

Themes

If you don’t share chicken with your dad a frog will eat your face. Maybe that should be a moral we tell our children. Look honey, I know you want to keep all your Halloween candy, but if you don’t share any with your parents, a frog is going to live on your face. It’s true.

This is pretty simple, you should be willing to share your food with your family, especially your chocolate.

Overall

I wonder if they called him Frogface for the rest of his life.



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