Thursday’s Tale: Slow, the Weaver

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A weaver preparing the warp in a village near Kanchipuram, India.

A weaver preparing the warp in a village near Kanchipuram, India.

 

I know. I’m posting a day late, but I just got busy yesterday.

Today’s story is one Amber actually told me the other day when she came home from school. She read it in her World Lit class. She and I talk about what we’re reading fairly often. The story is Slow, the Weaver. It’s from India, a part of the The Panchatantra.  The Panchatantra is a collection of fables and  stories from ancient India – five books in one. Some parts are in prose, others in verse. Animals act and talk in some of them, and suggest Indian living, tricks of survival, cunning and idiocy and adaptations.  You can read Slow, the Weaver at The Gold Scales, but I’m going to try to retell is like she told me.

Slow is the weaver’s name. One day he goes out to cut a tree down, but the fairy telss him not to. Instead, she’ll grant him a wish. Uh, oh, I think. That’s never a good thing. Anyway, the weaver agrees but says he need to go ask his wife what to wish for. He heads into town and meets the barber first. The weaver tells his story and the barber says he should wish for a kingdom; the weaver could be the king and he, the barber, could be the prime minister and it’s be great. The weaver says maybe, but he has to got ask his wife. The barber tells him his wife’s stupid and not to ask her, but the weaver heads on anyway.

The weaver’s wife tells him that he could produce twice as much cloth in a day if he had two more arms and another head. So, he, of course, goes back to the fairy and asks for two more arms and another head. She grants his wish. He heads back into town, proud of his extra arms and head.

And the villagers see him, think he’s a monster, and kill him.

I knew it wasn’t going to end well, but even I didn’t see that coming.

Thursday’s Tales is a weekly event here at Carol’s Notebook. Fairy tales, folktales, tall tales, even re-tellings, I love them all.

If you get a chance, visit Melissa over at Mommy Wants to Read. She’s highlighting a “fixed” version of The Princess and the Pea. And feel free to join in if you want.

Hope for Troubled Boys

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More years ago than I care to admit, I worked at a children’s home for boys who couldn’t stay with their parents and had trouble finding foster homes. Most of them were “troubled,” but there were still good kids. I do believe that there is hope for troubled boys. And I’ve seen that a safe environment that helps them learn to control their behavior, that encourages them and helps them develop their strengths can make a difference.

I know there are parents who may think that there is not anything left that they can do for their troubled child. They look at their son and believe that he is destined for a life filled with hardships because he seems too unruly to control. Many of these parents turn to family and friends for help, but they are not successful in helping their son. However, these parents do not have to give up hope.

Juvenile Detention And Boot Camps Often Do Not Work

Some parents believe that by sending their troubled son to a juvenile detention facility or boot camp their son will be able to straighten out his life. In most cases, these facilities do not give these young men the confidence and stability they need to overcome their problems. In fact, many of these boys become resentful and learn more bad behavior than good. This contradicts the entire reason for the child to attend the facility.

Boarding School For Troubled Boys

A positive option for many of these boys is boarding schools that are designed to meet their needs. These schools are designed to remove the boy entirely from the environment that is causing them trouble and give them a fresh start. Christian boarding schools for troubled boys are often located in rural areas because it gives these boys a chance to learn to love themselves without the interruptions and distractions that can be found in a city.

The Need To Find Oneself

Many of these troubled boys simply do not have the ability to discover who they are, what they are good at, and what they enjoy. Different home and school environments create a lifestyle for these troubled boys that places them more in a survival mode than in a learning and loving environment. This environment can be changed, and when it is, so is the behavior of the troubled youth.

Just because a young boy is having trouble in their situation in life does not mean that they are doomed to a miserable existence. Changes can be made that will allow them to overcome their hardships and grow into educated, loving adults.

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

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The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellanThe Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
Series: Powder Mage Trilogy #3
Narrator: Christian Rodska
Published by Orbit on February 10, 2015
Genres: Flintlock Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 19 hrs 25 mins
four-half-stars
Add: Goodreads
Purchase: AmazonAudible
IN A RICH, DISTINCTIVE WORLD THAT MIXES MAGIC WITH TECHNOLOGY, WHO COULD STAND AGAINST MAGES THAT CONTROL GUNPOWDER AND BULLETS?

The capital has fallen...
Field Marshal Tamas returns to his beloved country to find that for the first time in history, the capital city of Adro lies in the hands of a foreign invader. His son is missing, his allies are indistinguishable from his foes, and reinforcements are several weeks away.

An army divided...
With the Kez still bearing down upon them and without clear leadership, the Adran army has turned against itself. Inspector Adamat is drawn into the very heart of this new mutiny with promises of finding his kidnapped son.

All hope rests with one...
And Taniel Two-shot, hunted by men he once thought his friends, must safeguard the only chance Adro has of getting through this war without being destroyed...

I’ve really enjoyed this trilogy and the finale, The Autumn Republic, was good, but I was hoping for great. It would not stand-alone well, but it does wrap up a lot of the points the first two were leading toward. We see an end to the war and a new government for Adro. I love the world, the magic, the politics, and for some reason military fantasies tend to draw me in. I think it has something to do with all the passions, loyalties, endurance, planning – and treachery. The characters are awesome and the multiple points of view and various subplots give them each a chance to shine.

With so many characters and changes in viewpoint, the narrator of the audio has a tough job, but Rodska does well. He differentiates each character, and while the women are maybe not as well performed as the men, it’s a fairly male-centered story anyway. To me, he’s the voice of Tamas. There is one voice in however, Bo’s, that always sound off to me, too old for the man, but that’s a minor quibble. The story kept my attention throughout.

A lot of the story works out along more or less predictable lines – you have the general idea of what will happen if not the specifics, although there were a couple of curveballs I didn’t see coming. And of course I cried at the end – but there was a good reason. I probably would have seen it coming, but I always hope for happy endings all around. And most of them do get one, in some form or another.

This is the first series in a long while that I feel like I should pick up for Amber and David to read. I think they’d both like it. It’s high fantasy, but not the standard quest with the elves. It’s got a bit of a love story, but it is way overshadowed by the action. Gods and men, elements and gunpowder – it’s just a great trilogy, but definitely start at the beginning.

I read somewhere that the McClellan’s next trilogy will be in the same world ten years later. I hope that’s true!

About Brian McClellan

mcclellan

Brian McClellan is an American writer of epic fantasy. He is best known for The Powder Mage trilogy. Brian lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife, two dogs, a cat, and between 6,000 and 60,000 honey bees (depending on the time of year).

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