Browsing All Posts filed under »Fiction & writing«

The Parable About the Boy Who Tossed Bottles at the Wall

January 28, 2020


A boy was busy throwing bottles against a wall.   Some broke because they struck a hard part of the wall. Some broke because they struck in a weak spot of the bottle.  Some broke because they were picked up and thrown again.   Other bottles survived because they weren’t thrown quite as hard. Other […]


May 3, 2017


In a lean springtime, the wolf came to the meadows to see if he could steal sheep, but the shepherd boy startled him with his shout, and as the wolf bolted back into the bush he saw the villagers arrive, look about, then scold the boy for his false summons. Hungry, the next day brought […]

The Wolves Who Knew Where the Deer Were

October 27, 2013


One day there was born a wolf who knew where all the deer were.  From the morning of his first hunt, he always knew which way to look to find the deer, and every time he hunted he brought one back.  This gift he was able to grant to his children, and after twenty generations […]

Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid Is Coming by Charles Kingsley

April 14, 2013


Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies is a fundamentally unpleasant piece of Victoriana suffering from many of the vices of the era.  It is preachy, condescendingly moralistic, racist and—as the following passage makes clear—sadistic as well.  Our hero Tom has drowned and been reconstituted as a water baby, but he still has some lessons to learn […]

The Fisherman and His Wife

February 9, 2013


A Fairy Tale from Grimm I was thinking about our civilization’s relationship with the environment, and how much we ask of it, and somehow this classic tale from the Brothers Grimm came to mind. THE FISHERMAN AND HIS WIFE There was once a fisherman who lived with his wife in a pigsty, close by the seaside. The […]

The Dancing Wall at Cathindos

January 16, 2013


Since the publication late last century of Dr. Borges’ 500 Theses of the Destruction of Cathindos, a generation of scholarship has eliminated some theses and added some others, but really not much progress has been made.  There are yet 500 theses, or more.  A visit to the Dancing Wall, which the more mystical and philosophical […]

Winkle on the Ice by Charles Dickens

December 18, 2012


I read Oliver Twist in 1962, half a century ago, but my first introduction to Dickens was in my grade three classroom in Port Essington, 1958-59.  The following passage, taken from The Pickwick Papers, was that introduction, which was reprinted in my grade three reader.  Some of the language seems a little advanced for 8-year-olds.  […]