Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reading Notes: Aesop for Children Part A

For this reading assignment, I read part A of Aesop for Children by Milo Winter. For this assignment, I chose my 3 favorite fables, and brainstormed some story ideas from them.

This is a classic story with an important underlying moral - do not be greedy.  I think there are a lot of ways to expand on or reinterpret this story about a boy refusing to let go of his very large handful of hazelnuts in order to take his hand out of the jar.  If I chose this fable to write about for my week 3 story, I could write about a man who discovers a lamp housing a genie. Naturally the man would get 3 wishes with no restrictions; thinking he's clever, he wishes for a million more wishes, which the genie grants.  Perhaps then the man could then spend so much time thinking about what he could wish for, how he could make himself richer, more popular, more handsome, that it completely consumes his life, and he forgets about his family and friends, and ends up dying alone.  

A Magical Lamp. Credit: j4p4n on

This story makes me think of the potential disadvantage of shortcuts.  Yes, you may get to your destination quicker, but what do you miss along the way?  An incredible journey filled with lessons? Or does the end product simply suffer due to the shortcut? I could write a story about peasants who hear a tale of wonderful treasures in a far away land.  They go on a journey to find the treasure, but one peasant learns of a short cut that would cut the length of the trip in half.  The peasant ditches his friends and gets to the treasure first, only to find nothing, but his friends find their own treasures throughout the journey that the greedy peasant missed out on. 

For this story, I had the idea that I could write about a group of friends who are not very well off, but are working to save money to do something fun or buy something they can all share.  One of the friends finds a brand new, very expensive designer purse (or something similar), but instead of selling it for money for her friends, she hides her discovery from them, but flashes it around the nice part of town, bragging to others about it.  Her flashy purse catches the attention of a wealthy, affluent group of friends, who invite her to join their friend group.  The girl is excited, she's always wanted to be wealthy and admired, so she takes them up on the offer.  Soon she realizes how much money it costs just to hang out with these new friends.  They go out to eat at fancy restaurants and do expensive things, so the girl has to sell her things to keep up, and soon starts secretly taking money from her friends' savings.  She runs out of money, her new friends don't want her, and her old friends reject her for stealing from them and caring more about money and influence than the friendships. 

The Wolf and His Shadow. Credit - Milo Winter, Aesop for Children

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