Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

The Penman

The PenmanThe Penman

There was once a man in office who had terrible handwriting. He hired another man with beautiful handwriting to write all of his letters and documents. This went quite well for a week or so. The penman got so full of himself that he thought he should hold office. So he wrote all manner of things, none of it very good. This eventually killed the man and he died, but was memorialized by someone who could write, which is quite sad.

Observations

Handwriting, while still important, is not as important as it used to be. People wrote letters and hand-wrote documents. The Declaration of Independence was photocopied, someone wrote that out by hand, and if you wanted another copy, someone had to copy out another one by hand. Being as this man was someone in an office of some sort, it would have been fairly important for him to have good hand-writing. He would have been writing to all kinds of people and the correspondence would have been quite important.

Themes

The penman thought that just because he was good at one thing, he would be good at another. Well, he wasn’t. Just because you can throw a ball, doesn’t mean that you can figure out the physics of why it went where it went. You may just be good at one part of something, not the entire thing. Maybe there is a person who can throw a baseball and then break down the physics of it afterward, but I’m betting most people just know how to throw a ball and then there are separate people who could tell you the physics of it.

Overall

You’re probably not good at everything, but you are good at some things.

Weigh In

Is the talent of hand-writing less than the talent of being able to write about something?

Does one talent take more effort than the other?

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2 thoughts on “The Penman”

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