The Teapot

The TeapotThe Teapot

There was once a teapot who thought of herself/himself as the queen of the table. The other members of the service may have had lids and handles, but the teapot had both, and also, a spout.

The spout made the teapot different and better than everyone else.

The sugar bowl and the cream pitcher are permitted to be serving maids of delicacies, but I am the one who gives forth, the adviser. I spread blessings abroad among thirsty mankind.

One day, the teapot was carried by clumsy hands and dropped, both the spout and handle were broken off. The next day the teapot was given to a beggar woman. The woman took the teapot home and planted a bulb inside of it. The teapot thought this was worse than being buried, but the bulb started to grow. The teapot had life inside of it. The plant grew and the teapot thought it was all a singular experience.

And the bulb lay in the earth, inside of me, and it became my heart, my living heart, a thing I never had before. There was life in me; there were power and might; my pulse beat. The bulb put out sprouts; thoughts and feeling sprang up and burst forth into flower. I saw it, I bore it, and I forgot myself in its beauty. It is a blessing to forget oneself in others!

After a time the teapot was cracked in two so the plant could be put in a bigger pot, but while it hurt, the teapot was not overly upset because it had helped give the plant life.


Teapots, such smug jerks…

I’m a little teapot, short and stout, here’s my handle, here’s my spout


That spout is something I want to talk about.

In an episode of the show My Name is Earl, at one point one of the characters gets drunk and does a rendition of I’m a Little Teapot. The other characters then begin to recount this performance and speak of how the character in question used his penis as the spout. Funny drunk-story right?

Well, it is kind of funny, but seriously, we’re all thinking it…what body part is a spout equivalent to? A penis, that’s what.

The teapot says that because it had a spout it was qualified to rule the table, to make decisions, and give advice. All the other tea service items did not have spouts and were therefore only fit for serving delicacies. If a spout is a penis, that means all the other table service items were females because they didn’t have a spout, and therefore, according to the teapot, were not qualified to rule or give advice. Wow, teapot, you’re a sexist jerk!

Really, can’t rule because you don’t have a spout? Can’t give advice because you don’t have a spout?

I doubt Hans intended this story this way, but it’s there.

Then the teapot broke off its penis… I mean… spout, and felt it was no longer fit for anything. The teapot was somehow able to hold a life inside of it and thought it was the most wonderful thing in the world, to bear life, to give birth, to be a mother. The teapot didn’t even care if it had to lose itself so that the plant would grow.

If we look at this, in our already weird way of looking at this story, the teapot was a man, and then, he became a woman. He experienced the goods things about being a man, but also some bad things, and then he/she experienced some good and bad things about being a woman.

This makes me look at the teapot from The Beauty and the Beast in an entirely different light.


Teapots, those jerks Who would have thought teapots were so stuck up?

Weigh In

This story clearly expressions a masculine attitude and a feminine attitude, do you think Hans meant it this way?

Was he just trying to say that you should lose yourself in service to others?

The Snowdrop

The SnowdropThe Snowdrop

There was a bulb under the ground. It was winter still and the snow was on everything. Rain and sun rays would occasionally pierce down to the bulb. It’s outside was softened but it was not yet time. The bulb soon decided that it had been underground long enough and wanted to see the world around it. It forced its way up out of the soil. The sun was there. The wind was there. The snowdrop thought it was the most wonderful thing. The wind cautioned it though, “You are much too early,” the wind said, “we still have power over you,” but the snow drop was stronger than expected.

Some children came along and picked the snowdrop, because it was the first one. They took it home and put it in a glass of water, where it stayed on for a bit, then it was sent in a letter of poetry to a young man, but he grew apart from the letter sender and burned the letter, luckily, the snowdrop fell out and onto the floor. The maid, as she was cleaning, found the snowdrop and placed it between the pages of the book because that’s where she thought it fell from.

Many years later the same man opened his book. It was a book of poetry and the snowdrop was there still. The poetry was beautiful and so was the snowdrop, both had been before their time. While the world appreciated them now, they were not much appreciated when they first came into being.


Snowdrops are in the Amaryllis family which means they are in fact a plant that grows from a bulb. I’ve never lived in an area that had snowdrops. I’ve never lived in a place that had snow on the ground for longer than a couple of days at a time. Needless to say, I am not at all familiar with the concept of flowers growing through the snow, but I do know that it is possible. There are plants that bloom in the winter, my Camellia bush for one, right in the middle of winter, red blooms, all over the bush. In the south, the early plant is not snowdrops, but daffodils. You know spring is coming when you start seeing yellow flowers popping up out of the seemingly still very cold ground.


This snowdrop was too early and so was the poet mentioned in the story. Hans a thing for poets. Besides Hans’ obvious love for poets, this story does have a point. Some people do things before other people do them and everyone looks at them strangely for it. The first people who drove cars around, got a good stare down. People thought it was silly to trade in a reliable horse for a car. Some of these things that people do first are passing fads, while others stick with us. The first people to have done them are eventually pioneers and everyone ends up doing the thing they did first.

In another sense, there are some art forms or concepts that are before their time. People just don’t get it and they won’t get it for another twenty, thirty, or forty years, maybe a hundred years, who knows. If you run into one of those situations, it may not make sense now, but wait a while and it will.


Hans and his poets.

Weigh In

Do all fads eventually become understood?

Is showing up too early detrimental in the grand scheme of things?

The Silver Shilling

The Silver ShillingThe Silver Shilling

A silver shilling was minted and was ready to go out into the world. Almost as soon as it was out, it was traveling here and traveling there. It met other coins. It went here. It went there. Eventually the shilling ended up with one man in particular.

This man was the travel the world. The shilling had been inadvertently left in the man’s bag and the man did not notice until he was on his way. This shilling would just have to go with him on his journeys.

The shilling knew he was going all kinds of places because other types of coins would end up in the bag with him. The coins were from foreign lands. One day the shilling wanted desperately to look, so he crept very close to the edge of the bag and fell out. He fell into the pocket of the man. When the pants were taken to be cleaned the shilling fell out of the pocket and onto the floor. When the man left, he did not take the shilling.

The shilling ended up being taken, but it was not good in the country. People said it was false. Each of them tried to pawn it off on each other. An old woman finally ended up with it for her pay. She tried to buy things with it, but no one would take it. She decided to drill a hole through it and make it a necklace for a little girl. Maybe it was lucky. The little girl wore it for a time, but the lady took the shilling back and filled in the hole and tried to spend it.

Somehow the shilling ended up in the hand of a foreigner, the same man who had begun his journey with the shilling. He said the shilling had probably been called false and he would take the shilling back with him.

The shilling went home and knew he was not false.

“Suspicions are nothing when a man is really true.”


A shilling is a small amount of currency, no matter what country is using it. Generally a shilling is a small coin. The word comes from the word scilling, which means “division.” The entire idea of a shilling is that it’s part of something.

In my mind, I’m thinking of a shilling like a penny. Pennies aren’t worth much and no one really likes to have them around. If you ever work at a place that takes cash, you will occasionally find a Canadian penny trying to parade as an American penny. Sometimes the Canadian pennies get through because they’re very close in color and size to American pennies. If you happen to end up with a Canadian penny, you can’t really do anything with it because it’s not a valid form of currency in the US, either being worth less or more than the American penny depending upon exchange rates, usually less. I’m sure the closer you get to Canada, the more likely it is that you will find someone willing to take your Canadian penny.

Moving on from there, these days, exchanges generally don’t take coins. If you have some foreign coins, a 500 yen piece for example, good luck trying to change it out for five dollars and some change. Exchanges don’t want to take your coins. They only want your paper currency. You’re pretty much stuck with something worth over five dollars that you can’t really get rid of.


This shilling wasn’t false, but he was accused so by others. That’s like saying a girl is a slut, but she’s not. I know you’re thinking, “Well, that escalated quickly.” I used that example to prove a point.

In both instances, someone is said to be something they’re not, false and a slut. Let’s assume in neither case these accusations are true. The shilling is a true shilling and the girl is as virginal as they come, but even so someone still says the shilling is false and the girl is a slut. Now, the shilling and the girl know these things aren’t true, but does everyone else? Does the milkman know the girl isn’t a slut? No, he does not. He only knows what other people say. The shilling and the girl can continue to know their own value, but things other people say about them can make life bad for them. The shilling was passed around like it was a bad coin just because that’s what people said. We know the shilling wasn’t a bad coin. The girl can, likewise, be called a slut and considered a slut, just because people said she was. The girl can suffer from these words, just the same as the shilling suffered from the words of other people.

While things for the shilling ended up ok and its opinion of itself was not changed, that isn’t always the case, though, it’s best to be that way. You know what you are, so don’t let anyone else tell you what you are.


I don’t like American pennies, much less Canadian pennies, although, I do like that Canadian pennies have a maple leaf on them, or do they still do that?

Weigh In

Was it wrong or just ignorant of the people to accuse the shilling of being false?

If the people had known the shilling was a true shilling, were they at fault for calling it false?

Half-Assed by Jenette FuldaHalf-Assed by Jennette Fulda

Jennette spent most of her life being overweight and obese, one day, she decided to change. She knew she was heading for a world of health problems and was over three-hundred pounds. Jennette decided to do something about it. She started a weight-loss blog. She started learning about healthy foods. She started walking.

Jennette encountered hurdles along the way, of course. There were pieces of cake that called her name and people who argued that maybe she should just be happy with who she was.

Fortunately, for Jennette, although she had been made fun of and ignored for her weight, her family did not tell her to lose weight and they were quite supportive of her.

The journey took Jennette a couple of years, but she eventually lost around 190 lbs, which was half of her weight. Jennette became strong and felt good about herself. Jennette learned to enjoy being healthy and doing healthy things. Jennette took charge of her life. Good for her.

What I liked

I liked that Jennette did this. She decided to freaking change her life and she did it. That takes dedication. It takes a lot of hard work. Losing 190 lbs? That’s a monumental effort. If I lost 190 lbs, I’d be dead. I like that Jennette was able to do something that improved her life. She improved herself so much. She learned so much. Awesome for Jennette!

I liked that Jennette did include references in her book, not that I looked any of them up, I took her word for it. I also liked that she addresses some societal attitudes in her book. She speaks of how she was treated differently when she was extremely overweight as compared to when she lost weight. She wrote about how people who are overweight sometimes take on the attitude of being sorry for just being there. She wrote about fat shaming and also about body acceptance, both real things with their particular problems.

These things Jennette wrong about perceptions and attitudes towards overweight people are correct. People can really be jerks about it without any real reason. It’s our society’s new leprosy. Don’t touch them, you might catch the fat! People are surveyed and said they would rather lose their job, or lose a year of their life than be fat. Seriously? Is being fat really that bad? Jennette points these things out and she’s right to. It’s stupid is what it is.

What I didn’t like

First off, while Jennette’s story is harrowing in its own way, it’s not exactly life and death. Yes, I do know that if Jennette continued on the path that she was on, she would probably suffer an innumerable amount of health problems. She hadn’t had a heart attack. She hadn’t had a boyfriend break up with her because she was fat. She didn’t lose a job because she was fat. She wasn’t belittled by her parents because she was fat. Jennette’s life turned out pretty great, despite the fact that she was overweight. I like Jennette’s story, but it’s just not that emotional looking at it from the outside, although, I’m sure it was more than enough emotional for Jennette.

Second of all, Jennette dieted and exercised and she lost weight. This is in my “didn’t like” for a couple of reasons. First of all, Jennette didn’t have weight loss surgery. She just dieted and exercise and she lost weight. It’s kind of boring actually. She didn’t even have any funny exercise stories. For example, she could have said something like, “One time when was doing P-90X, I accidentally stepped on the bottom of my pants and they came off in front of my entire exercise group.” She didn’t have any overly emotional sessions with herself and her thoughts. Her journey just kind of was. The second reason I do not like that she just dieted and exercised is the fact that it just plain doesn’t work for everyone. Everyone thinks dieting and exercising is so difficult, and I’m sure Jennette put in a lot of effort for this, but it’s not that difficult. There are things that could make it difficult, none of which Jennette had standing in her way. What is difficult is when you do diet and exercise and nothing happens due to some medical disorder or medication. That’s a kick to the teeth right there.


I’m happy that Jennette was able to do this, but I’m not overly impressed with her journey.

Weigh In

No pun intended here, people.

Do you think that Jennette’s story was too impersonal?

Do you think the attitude of losing a job over being fat is a healthy attitude for our society to have?

The Old Church Bell

The Old Church Bell The Old Church Bell

In a town called Marbach a church bell tolled. Upon its toll a woman birthed a son and his name was Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller. The parents always loved the bell because they associated it with the birth of their prized son. The family moved away from the town, but not too far. The mother and the son were able to go back and visit friends.

In a visit, they discovered that the bell had been cracked and had been replaced. The old bell sat in the churchyard. Years passed. Johann had his rough times, but he grew up out of poverty to become a renowned poet for the country of Germany.

The bell on the other hand, seemed to have an uncertain fate. It was made of copper. Where would it go? Would it just be melted down for scrap?

The bell was melted down, many years later. As it turned out, the bell was used to create a statue of Friedrich that would be enjoyed by the German people for years to come.


As it turns out, this statue spoken of in the story is real, whether or not it was made from an actual bell that rang at the birth of Johann Christoph Friedrich Schiller is something I do not know. The statue was sculpted by Bertel Thorvaldsen, as if we had any doubt as to what sculptor Hans would write about.

The statue is green, so most likely it’s copper. The information I found on the statue wasn’t exactly forth-coming with a plethora of information on the origins of the statue.

Usually, when someone makes a piece of artwork, they don’t go into great details about where their materials came from. You don’t go to some fancy art show and see on the little plaque beside a painting, “Paint came from Hobby Lobby and Canvas came from Dick Blick.”

With a sculpture, there might have been more of a chance that Bertel would have known where the copper had come from. Most often marble is the substance people can tell you an origin of. If a statue is made of Carrera marble, we know it came from the quarry at Carrera, in Italy, but this is copper, it could have come from anywhere.


This is another story where an object and a person are intertwined their entire lives. Their paths meet and may cross a few times and ultimately they end up together. It’s a nice sentiment, but can we really track items like that? Can we really say, “This shoe was with me when I was born and it found me again when I was on my death bed”?

We do hold onto objects. Maybe we have a baby blanket that we still have, even though we’re adults. Maybe there’s a photo that floats around the family. Maybe there’s a ring that went from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter. Objects can follow us around, but whether or not we have items that come back into our lives, like the bell in this story or the bottle in a previous story, is something that we probably couldn’t know.


Friedrich must be another guy Hans really likes.

Weigh In

If you found out a soda bottle had been following you around your entire life, would it make the soda bottle any more special?

Do you think, if this story is true, that the origin of the copper for the statue makes the statue any more impressive?

Little Girl Lost by Brian McGillowayLittle Girl Lost by Brian McGilloway

Lucy has just moved back home to take care of her ailing father. He is suffering from either Alzheimer’s or dementia. There have been multiple trips to the hospital. Lucy herself is a detective for the police force and was lucky enough to be transferred to a city where she could help her father. Her father also used to be a police officer.

The case on hand is the case of a missing teenager. Her name is Kate and her father is very wealthy, or so everyone believes, and no one knows where to look for her. A man driving a truck sees a little girl out in the cold snow. The little girl will not speak and is taken to the hospital. She is covered in blood, which turns out not to be her own.

Lucy is transferred to another division at the request of the head of another agency. Lucy requests to speak to her. We learn that Lucy’s mother is also in law enforcement and that she requested for Lucy to be put under her.

Lucy goes on and investigates her case. Some interesting evidence is found on the girl in the woods. She has DNA on her from the missing girl, Kate. This makes things stranger and more complicated. Questions are asked. Who is this little girl? The answer finally comes out, but it’s too late for someone close to the girl. Things move forward and all was not as it appears.

Meanwhile, Lucy’s father keeps talking about a woman named Janet. Lucy decides to find out who Janet is, never suspecting that it may connect back to the very case she is working on.

What I liked

This story was fast-paced and easy to read. I liked the twists and turns in the story. It wasn’t overly surprising, but the surprises were fresh enough that it made the story interesting. Connecting several crimes together was a good move, I think. It’s nice how things wrap up in a nice package.

Lucy was likable enough. She’s not special or unique in the world of crime novels, but she’s alright.

What I didn’t like

Some of the pieces of the mystery, I felt, fit together a little too loosely.

Lucy is also a bit cliche even though I do like her. She’s a cop. Her parents are cops. Keep it in the family. Family business. You have to continue on with the family line of work. Who says? Why in the heck is Lucy a cop? Didn’t she see how much grief it had caused her family?

There’s a bit of a side-story about a neglected girl and her brother. It’s a touching piece of the story, but Lucy doesn’t really do anything with it.


It’s a good and quick crime read.

Weigh In

Is it cliche to have a cop from a family of cops?

Do crime and mystery novels sometimes fit together too nicely?

The Snail and the Rose-Tree

The Snail and the Rose-TreeThe Snail and the Rose-Tree

A snail and a rose-tree were in a garden together. They spoke of things. The rose-tree could only produce roses and the snail thought this was rather boring. The snail said he would do great things himself. A year would pass and the rose-tree would only produce roses. The tree said it produced roses out of joy.

They discussed some of the finer points of life. The snail said the world was nothing of his concern and he could go into his shell and block the world out. The snail says that he doesn’t have to give anything to the world. The rose-tree gave roses, but the snail gave nothing.

Rose trees and snails came and went and they had the same conversations. Each snail always wanted to hide in his shell.


Snails, such slackers…

really, what do snails do that is beneficial? I’ve never thought about it.


This goes along with the theme of the last story about Psyche. You’re supposed to give yourself to the world. You’re supposed to use what you know and better the world in some manner. If you know how to take out the garbage, that’s great, take out the garbage, make the world a less smelly place. If you know how to build rocket ships, do that, take the people of Earth to the Moon.

You cannot, nor should you, hide away from the world expecting it to give to you, while you give nothing.


Don’t be the snail.

Weigh In

Do you think it’s selfish to go through life without giving of yourself?

Do you think the rose gave wholly of himself?


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