Monday, 28 December 2015

We Have Been Away!

Good Day All Around:

I, Augustus Snodgrass, editor of The Pickwick Portfolio, would like to apologize for our absence from our blog. I was unable to edit our issues for the last three months, and thus they did not appear on our blog. We plan to return with a January issue in the next couple of weeks and once again post monthly issues.

I would like to present two selections sent in by the honourable Tracy Tupman over the past three months that did not make it into an issue. The first is an autumn-related poem, and the second is a composer biography, whose birthday was in October. Please enjoy them!

Augustus Snodgrass

by John Keats, contributed by Tracy Tupman
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
   Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.     
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

by Tracy Tupman
Antonio Pasculli was born in Palermo, Sicily on October 13, 1842.  He was an incredible oboe virtuoso; in fact, he could play with such skill and dexterity that he was known as the “Paganini of the oboe.” (And, as luck would have it, both Pasculli and Paganini were born in October!).  Beginning his career at the young age of 14, this brilliant virtuouso soon found himself touring Italy, Germany, and Austria.  Because of his marvelous capabilities, he found it difficult to find music which allowed him to best fulfill his potential, so most of the music which he performed was music he had composed himself.  Although he was a fabulous concert performer, he abruptly stopped performing publicly in 1884. He did so because up until this point, he had been gradually losing his eyesight, and his doctor had warned him that continuing with his public performing could lead to complete blindness.  However, Pasculli still had plenty to keep him busy.  First of all, after settling down to raise a family in Palermo, he continued to be a professor of oboe and English horn at the Royal Conservatory of Palermo.  In addition, he poured himself into growing the talents of the Municipal Musical Corps of Palermo, which he had begun directing in 1877.  He even went so far as to teach all the wind players in the ensemble to play string instruments as well. Eventually, this transformed the musical group into a unique ensemble that could be considered a symphony and a band all in one.  While this “symphony-band” played many works by Pasculli himself, as a result of the extra musical training he gave them, they could also play a wide variety of works that most of Italy had never heard before.  Pasculli continued both his teaching and his directorship of the Municipal Musical Corps until his retirement in 1913. Some of Pasculli’s best-known works include La Favorita ( and Le Api ( ) ,  the latter of which could be considered an oboist’s version of “Flight of the Bumblebee.”  Antonio Pasculli died in 1924 in Palermo, Sicily: the city where he was born and raised, and the city where he lived a life-time full of music.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

The Pickwick Portfolio: September Issue

  Ladies and Gentlemen, at long last, the September Issue of the Pickwick Portfolio! Thank you for your unending patience, and enjoy the Portfolio!

Mr. Sam Weller

The Pickwick Portfolio
September 2015

In this issue:
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross” by Nathaniel Winkle
  • Thoughts about Fall” by Sam Weller
  • Quotes to Note – compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller..
  • Note-able Composers – “Josef Strauss” by Tracy Tupman
  • Kitchen Korner – “Deep-Fried Chocolate Bar” contributed by Augustus Snodgrass
  • Nonsensical Notions – “A Humorous, Short Story” contributed by Sam Weller
  • Jokes” compiled by Sam Weller
  • Story Time –  “The Garden Party – Part III” by Katherine Mansfield, contributed by Theodore Winstint
  • Poet’s Corner – “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802” by William Wordsworth, contributed by Tracy Tupman
  • It’s September!” by Edgar Albert Guest, contributed by Tracy Tupman

This paper is part of a club called “The Pickwick Club.” The Pickwick Portfolio, as this paper is called, is designed for the good of the readers. Its purpose is to serve as a paper of news, entertainment, and fun. Please take note of our continuing series, “The Garden Party,” a short story by Katherine Mansfield and contributed by Theodore Winsint, which we have divided into five parts over five issues. Our other series, “Under the Greenwood Tree,” fan fiction by Sam Weller, based on Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, is paused for this issue. Also, our two poems have been specially selected for this September issue. The first one, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802,” by William Wordsworth, is a beautiful, old poem “… describing London and the River Thames, viewed from Westminster Bridge, in the early morning…”, as put by Wikipedia. The other poem, “It’s September!”, by Edgar Albert Guest, describes the beauty in nature of September. Additionally, we have a paragraph on Sam Weller’s thoughts about fall, and several of the quotes are also about fall and autumn. Enjoy, and I wish everyone a successful start to the new school year!
Augustus Snodgrass


by Nathaniel Winkle
The ICRC seeks to provide humanitarian relief amidst war and conflict to both armies and civilians. The Red Cross was founded by a Swiss man named Henri Dunant who cared for wounded soldiers during the battle of Solferino in 1859; afterwards he wrote a book on his experience, titled “A memory of Solferino.” Dunant then took action to persuade politicians to do more to help war victims, as well as sending them a copy of his book. A few years later Dunant founded the “Committee of Five,” whose role it was to see how Dunant’s ideas could be implemented; a few days later, the committee was renamed “International Committee for Relief to the Wounded.” The committee was held in Geneva, Switzerland, and sought to find ways to get better medical care for soldiers on the battlefield, and in 1876, the name was changed to “The International Committee of the Red Cross.” Henri Dunant was deeply affected by what he witnessed during the battle of Solferino and sought change from politicians as well as taking action himself by forming a committee to come up with and implement ideas to give both sides of conflict better medical assistance.
The ICRC operates in over eighty countries, providing humanitarian services and acting as a neutral conciliator between the warring parties. Their mission is to help and protect civilians caught in conflicts, prisoners of war, and members of the armed forces, and has also expanded to addressing sexual violence, fighting for health care, and providing water and shelter. ICRC is run on voluntary donations funded mostly by Switzerland, the U.S., and the E.U. The Committee (also known as “The Assembly”) meets regularly to talk about how things are going, where improvement is needed, guidelines, strategies, and financial matters. The ICRC has over eleven thousand employees deployed in over eighty countries, as well as many volunteers, though ICRC has been striving to send more trained staff, but being an employee for the Red Cross is a hard and demanding job, and fifteen percent of their staff leave each year. The ICRC can be contacted through their website, which has their headquarters address, worldwide stations, and fax and telephone number. The Red Cross is a key organization in providing medical services to those who need it the most, including the armed forces, prisoners of war, and the millions of civilians caught up in these conflicts.
It was first during WW1 that the Red Cross expanded to help prisoners of war, as well as civilians, in addition to soldiers. During WW1, the Red Cross was actively monitoring warring parties and issuing complaints when standards were not held up, and when chemical weapons were used for the first time, the ICRC vehemently protested against the use of this kind of weapon. After WW1, the ICRC received the Nobel Peace Prize for their outstanding efforts. The Red Cross also helped to establish better treatment for POWs (prisoner of war) during the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia. During WW2, ICRC did many of the things that they had done during WW1, assisting civilians, the armed forces, and POWs; however, they did not respond to the reliable information about the concentration camps and the mass killings going on inside of them; this is still considered the ICRC’s biggest fault in history. The ICRC was active during the Cold War and the Rwandan Genocide; after the Cold War, the Red Cross’s work became more dangerous, and among the fatalities was a Canadian Logistics coordinator, Vatche Arslanian, who was driving through Baghdad in 2001 with some members of the Iraqi Crescent when they were accidently caught in crossfire. The ICRC has since publicly apologized to the survivors of the holocaust and has sought to learn from their mistakes, as well as to continue to do what they can to help those affected by warfare.
Note: Bibliography (,,

by Sam Weller
I love fall. Fall means new school supplies, books, pens, pencils, galore! It means a warm quilt on my bed. It means lots of books and lots of tea, while the elements wage war. It means bright fires and movie nights with family. It means chunky knight sweaters and fuzzy socks. It means tall boots and scarves and jackets. It means the leaves change color, and the world seems to curl up and get comfortable before winter. Yes, sometimes it seems like the dark nights and dark mornings will stay forever; it feels like the White Lady will hold us for a hundred years again, but then there is warmth and love and books and all good things. Then there is family and friends. Then there are those nights where you dance past midnight with your friends... Those times where the cold doesn’t matter, because you are warm.

compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” – Mark Twain
“All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.” – Orison Swett Marden
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” – Winston Churchill
“Good questions outrank easy answers.” – Paul Samuelson
“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” – Malcolm Forbes
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson
“True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost.” – Charles Caleb Colton
“If the world seems too cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.” – Lucy Larcom
Autumn...the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant
Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” – Jim Bishop
There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley
I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.” – Andrew Wyeth
Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” – Elizabeth Lawrence
Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don't feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.” – Marilyn Monroe
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery, 
Anne of Green Gables
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus
Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte
Note: Quotes from various websites


by Tracy Tupman
Josef Strauss was a brilliant composer born in 1827 in Vienna, Austria, and was the second of three brothers in a highly musical family. Though he eventually became a composer, he received formal training as an engineer and, before pursuing a career in music, worked for the city of Vienna as an engineer and designer. In fact, he even designed a horse-drawn street-sweeper, the predecessor for the street-sweepers use today! In addition, he highly enjoyed painting and art, drama, singing, and poetry. In short, he was a man of many interests, whose talents and creativity covered a broad spectrum. His older brother Johann Strauss, who wrote the famous, enduring “Blue Danube Waltz,” once said of his brother, “(Josef) is the more gifted of us two; I am merely the more popular…”
Josef was forced to take music more seriously when his older brother Johann fell ill, and Josef was compelled to take over the family orchestra. Upon relinquishing the role of conductor to Johann again once he recovered, Josef quit his earlier career altogether to pursue music full-time, like some other members of his family. Apparently, Johann’s illness had provided Josef with the opportunity to discover how much he loved music. Josef became a prolific composer, producing 283 opus works over the course of his lifetime. Mostly, Josef composed light, lovely waltzes, polkas, and other dance music, styles which were profusely popular at the time. Perhaps some of his best works are the “Pizzicato Polka,” which he composed with his older brother, Johann, and the waltz which he gave the fancy name, “The Mysterious Powers of Magnetism (Dynamiden).” The latter makes an unusual but very skilled use of minor keys.
Sadly, Josef was rather sickly for most of his life, frequently experiencing faintness and terrible headaches. After falling unconscious from the conductor’s podium during a tour, he was brought home by his wife, and soon after, on the twenty-second of July, 1870, he died.
Fortunately, though, the legacy he left behind is beautiful and overflows, along with other things, with his marvellous music: sparked with creativity, wonderfully vibrant, and obviously brilliant.
Note: Sources (Wikipedia: Josef Strauss:,, The Johann Strauss society:


contributed by Augustus Snodgrass
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Japanese)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 1/4 cups soda water
  • 8 (4-ounce) chocolate bars, frozen until solid
  • In a medium saucepan, heat oil until it registers 350o F. on a thermometer.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup flour, half cup cornstarch, Panko, and baking powder. Whisk in soda water.
  • In a separate medium bowl, combine remaining half cup flour and half cup cornstarch. Working with one chocolate bar at a time, dip the chocolate in the batter, then the dry flour mixture, and then dip in batter again. Transfer the battered chocolate bar to the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until evenly golden, four to five minutes. Repeat with the remaining chocolate bars.
  • Note: Source (

  •                                                        NONSENSICAL NOTIONS
    • contributed by Sam Weller
    • A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around his torso. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first day of the term, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in school. Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as possible. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he took the desk stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. He had no trouble with discipline that term.”
    • JOKES
    • compiled by Sam Weller
    • We use a really strong sunblock when we go to the beach with the kids. It’s SPF 80: You squeeze the tube, and a sweater comes out.
    • My eleven-year-old grandson spent a beautiful Saturday playing video games. His older sister tried coaxing him outside by warning, “Someday, you’re going to be thirty years old, single, and living in Mom’s basement playing video games all day!” His reply: “I can only dream.”
    • A Scottish mother visits her son in his New York City apartment and asks, “How do you find the Americans, Donald?” “Mother,” says Donald, “they’re such noisy people. One neighbor won’t stop banging his head against the wall, while the other screams and screams all night long.” “Oh, Donald! How do you manage to put up with them?” “What can I do? I just lie in bed quietly, playing my bagpipes.”
    • Mom: Your great-aunt just passed away. LOL.
    • Son: Why is that funny?
    • Mom: It’s not funny, David! What do you mean?
    • Son: Mom, LOL means Laughing Out Loud.
    • Mom: I thought it meant Lots of Love. I have to call everyone back.


    • by Katherine Mansfield, contributed by Theodore Winstint
    • Perhaps it was extravagant. Just for a moment she had another glimpse of that poor woman and those little children, and the body being carried into the house. But it all seemed blurred, unreal, like a picture in the newspaper. I’ll remember it again after the party’s over, she decided. And somehow that seemed quite the best plan …
    • Lunch was over by half-past one. By half-past two they were all ready for the fray. The green-coated band had arrived and was established in a corner of the tennis-court. My dear!” trilled Kitty Maitland, “aren’t they too like frogs for words? You ought to have arranged them round the pond with the conductor in the middle on a leaf.” Laurie arrived and hailed them on his way to dress. At the sight of him Laura remembered the accident again. She wanted to tell him. If Laurie agreed with the others, then it was bound to be all right. And she followed him into the hall. Laurie!” Hallo!” He was half-way upstairs, but when he turned round and saw Laura he suddenly puffed out his cheeks and goggled his eyes at her. “My word, Laura! You do look stunning,” said Laurie. "What an absolutely topping hat!” Laura said faintly “Is it?” and smiled up at Laurie, and didn’t tell him after all. Soon after that people began coming in streams. The band struck up; the hired waiters ran from the house to the marquee. Wherever you looked there were couples strolling, bending to the flowers, greeting, moving on over the lawn. They were like bright birds that had alighted in the Sheridans’ garden for this one afternoon, on their way to - where? Ah, what happiness it is to be with people who all are happy, to press hands, press cheeks, smile into eyes. Darling Laura, how well you look!” What a becoming hat, child!” Laura, you look quite Spanish. I’ve never seen you look so striking.” And Laura, glowing, answered softly, “Have you had tea? Won't you have an ice? The passion-fruit ices really are rather special.” She ran to her father and begged him. “Daddy darling, can’t the band have something to drink?”And the perfect afternoon slowly ripened, slowly faded, slowly its petals closed. Never a more delightful garden-party … ” “The greatest success … ” “Quite the most … ” Laura helped her mother with the good-byes. They stood side by side in the porch till it was all over. All over, all over, thank goodness,” said Mrs. Sheridan. “Round up the others, Laura. Let’s go and have some fresh coffee. I’m exhausted. Yes, it’s been very successful. But oh, these parties, these parties! Why will you children insist on giving parties!” And they all of them sat down in the deserted marquee. Have a sandwich, daddy dear. I wrote the flag.” Thanks.” Mr. Sheridan took a bite and the sandwich was gone. He took another. “I suppose you didn’t hear of a beastly accident that happened to-day?” he said. My dear,” said Mrs. Sheridan, holding up her hand, “we did. It nearly ruined the party. Laura insisted we should put it off.” Oh, mother!” Laura didn’t want to be teased about it. It was a horrible affair all the same,” said Mr. Sheridan. “The chap was married too. Lived just below in the lane, and leaves a wife and half a dozen kiddies, so they say.” An awkward little silence fell. Mrs. Sheridan fidgeted with her cup. Really, it was very tactless of father …


    • by William Wordsworth, contributed by Tracy Tupman
    • Earth has not anything to show more fair:
    • Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
    • A sight so touching in its majesty:
    • This City now doth, like a garment, wear
    • The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
    • Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
    • Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
    • All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
    • Never did sun more beautifully steep
    • In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
    • Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
    • The river glideth at his own sweet will:
    • Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
    • And all that mighty heart is lying still!
    • by Edgar Albert Guest, contributed by Tracy Tupman
    • It's September, and the orchards are afire with red and gold,
    • And the nights with dew are heavy, and the morning's sharp with cold;
    • Now the garden's at its gayest with the salvia blazing red
    • And the good old-fashioned asters laughing at us from their bed;
    • Once again in shoes and stockings are the children's little feet,
    • And the dog now does his snoozing on the bright side of the street.
    • It's September, and the cornstalks are as high as they will go,
    • And the red cheeks of the apples everywhere begin to show;
    • Now the supper's scarcely over ere the darkness settles down
    • And the moon looms big and yellow at the edges of the town;
    • Oh, it's good to see the children, when their little prayers are said,
    • Duck beneath the patchwork covers when they tumble into bed.
    • It's September, and a calmness and a sweetness seem to fall
    • Over everything that's living, just as though it hears the call
    • Of Old Winter, trudging slowly, with his pack of ice and snow,
    • In the distance over yonder, and it somehow seems as though
    • Every tiny little blossom wants to look its very best
    • When the frost shall bite its petals and it droops away to rest.
    • It's September! It's the fullness and the ripeness of the year;
    • All the work of earth is finished, or the final tasks are near,
    • But there is no doleful wailing; every living thing that grows,
    • For the end that is approaching wears the finest garb it knows.
    • And I pray that I may proudly hold my head up high and smile
    • When I come to my September in the golden afterwhile

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

The Pickwick Portfolio - August Issue

   Ladies and Gentlemen, here it is at long last! The August issue of the Pickwick Portfolio. Please accept my extreme apologies in the lateness of this issue! Your patience is appreciated. My goodness, that did sound very professional didn't it? Just a quick note about Under The Greenwood Tree . Since school schedules will be starting up soon, there will not be any of UTGT in the next issue. To make up for it, I have made part two longer than normal. Enjoy, and long live the Portfolio!

- Mr. Sam Weller

The Pickwick Portfolio
August 2015

In this issue:
  • “‘The Search for the Perfect Body’ by Mary Walters Riskin – Summary and Opinion” by Nathaniel Winkle
  • Under the Greenwood Tree – Part II” by Sam Weller
  • Quotes to Note 
    compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller
  • Note-able Composers 
    “Claude Debussy” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
    Leonard Bernstein” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
  • Kitchen Korner
    “S’mores Pie” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
  • Nonsensical Notions 
    “A Humorous, Short Story” compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
    Riddles” compiled by Sam Weller
  • Story Time 
    “The Garden Party – Part II” by Katherine Mansfield, contributed by Theodore Winstint
  • Poet’s Corner
    • “The Snake” by Nathaniel Winkle

    Siblings” by Nathaniel Winkle

            “Wanderlust” by Nathaniel Winkle
This paper is part of a club called the “Pickwick Club.” The Pickwick Portfolio, as this paper is called, is designed for the good of the readers. Its purpose is to serve as a paper of news, entertainment, and fun. Please take note of our two continuing series: “Under the Greenwood Tree,” fan fiction by Sam Weller, based on Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, and “The Garden Party,” a short story by Katherine Mansfield and contributed by Theodore Winsint, which we have divided into five parts over five issues. Enjoy!
Augustus Snodgrass

by Nathaniel Winkle
In “The Search for the Perfect Body,” Mary Walters Riskin discusses the effects of the media portraying only certain people with seemingly perfect bodies. Walters Riskin takes a look at effects of being surrounded by models and actors/actresses every day and how this affects our body image in a negative way. Walters Riskin goes on to say that seeing people with seemingly ideal bodies everywhere we go makes us more conscientious of how we look in comparison. She contemplates how advertisers and businesses use the negative feelings people have about themselves to their financial gain. Walters Riskin explains how companies for cosmetics and plastic surgeons and weight loss programs direct their ads at the insecurity we feel about ourselves, with ads promising us a more beautiful body, giving us the mindset that you need to look a certain way in order to be happy or successful. Mary Walters Riskin sums up her article by stating that the media is slowly portraying more people as they really are but that we can change our attitude instead of our bodies, as well. Walters Riskin believes that we should accept who we are, because we are unique, and there is only one of us in the world, and that when we start seeing ourselves as a unique person, we start to develop self confidence. Mary Walters Riskin points out that the media is a big influence on how we see ourselves and that having a positive attitude about our appearance despite what other people think or say is key to feeling happy and comfortable with ourselves.

Mary Walters Riskin makes a good point in her article “The Search for the Perfect Body” about accepting who you are and not trying to look perfect, because there really is no such thing, and everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. It is true that the media often only portrays certain races and body types; this means that only a small fraction of people are represented, and anybody that is not of a certain race or skin colour or body type is made to feel inferior. This has a negative effect on people’s self image and confidence, particularly young girls and women in general. We look in the mirror, but we don’t see the good; we can only see what we consider negative. We walk outside feeling like everyone is judging our looks and particularly the aspects of it that we consider ugly or appalling. Feeling inadequate, we walk around so self conscious that we can’t see ourselves for the one-of-a-kind person that we are. Everywhere we go we see images of what we should look like, and if we do not meet those beauty standards, we are told that we must eat certain things or do certain activities or even get surgery to fix our flaws in order to fit in. We should learn to love our bodies, because there is no one else like us, and there never will be. Walters Riskin's article is very informative on how we are influenced by the media and other sources and how this plays into how we view our bodies and what we base our self worth on, and that changing our attitudes matters more than changing our bodies.

by Sam Weller
… “My lord,” spoke the shorter man, “this maid wishes to speak to you.” He nodded at the girl to speak. “Are you… are you Robin Hood?” she asked. The yellow haired man stood up and looked at her. “I am.”

    The girl paused, unsure of how to proceed. She bit her lip, and frowned ever so slightly to gather her thoughts. “Sir I,... I sought you out because.. I am in need of help.. Well to say truth, I am in need of a home and.. Well,.. Sir, I have come to ask that I might remain here in the forest with you, as a member of your band.” There. It was out. Silence reigned in the forest. All eyes were on her, in a state of disbelief, and wonder. But she stood, unwavering as Robin Hood looked at her, with deep caring (and somewhat humoured) blue eyes. “ Pray tell what a maiden so young and fare as yourself came to this point. For marry, I believe there is a reason behind this strange request. Is there not a reason for everything, even life itself? He looked her square in the eyes as he said this, watching her, staring into her. Her eyes flickered, with fear for a split second, then her shoulders slumped and her bravedo failed her. Her eyes washed over with grief, and Robin thought he had never seen such sorrowful eyes, so deep, so sad, as if the weight of the world were on her shoulders, and none could share the burden, or ease the pain. His heart went out to her. “It is as you say.” She confessed, “but it is a lengthy tale, I must warn you.” “Then fair maid, sup with is before you begin. For how long have you ridden? And when did you last satisfy your stomach's knaw?” “I have been riding since mid morning, nad have not eaten since last night.” came the weary response. “ Marry then! You must be famished. Come hither with me.” 
    Venison, fowl, and all manner of the like were spread before her, roasted to perfection. Meat pies and pasties with gravies and puddings as well as cheese, bread, fruit, and various vegtables were also there. Ale, beer, sack, and the like flowed freely, with honeyed cakes to go with it. The men who had been busy now came, till the whole cloth was filled. Then they began to eat. For a long while the joked and quaffed, laughed and teased one another as the plates were slowly emptied, and the jugs drank dry. Eventually though, they all, one after another, had eaten their fill, and sprawled out on the soft grass. Robin turned to the girl. “Now maiden. Now that you have eaten your fill, pray tell us your story, and what drove you to make such a request of me.” The girl nodded, and all men turned to hear her story.
    “My name oh men, is Rosalyn O' Font. My father is one of our noble King Richard's knights, but because of his long years of service, is allowed to live out the rest of his days in peace in this fair land. I am his second child, and his only daughter. My brother, four years ago, left to be in the king's army. I remained with my mother and father, being not yet engaged. Two years ago, my mother fell ill, and but two months ago, she died, God rest her soul. My father loved mama dearly, more than life itself. He took her death very hard, and has slowly succumbed to his grief, seldom seeing anyone, but a few of his closest friends. But as of late, he has been out and about more, seeing many people, and going to many places.'
    'One might think this to be a good thing, and so I thought, till he returned home a fortnight ago from one long trip, and this time with a guest. He told me that I was to be engaged to this man, as soon as could be arranged. Now if this man was a young knight, and a man of character and stature, perhaps I might have fallen in love with him, as my father commanded me to do. But one can not fall in love with a gentleman at first sight, and a stranger, what's more. But what turned my heart against him within me was the strong and evident fact that this man was no gentleman! He was at least twice my age, with a face like a snake's. His eyes were cruel and greedy, and the way he looked at me was enough to put fear in my heart. I swore to myself that I would never marry this man, and I told my father so. We have always been honest with one another and so I thought he would take it well, but no. He looked at me with such a look as I had never seen, even when he was in his deepest anger, and told me that I would marry that man, whether I wished it or not. I then realised that my father was not my father any more, that his grief had poisoned his heart, and his mind. I continued to resist him, and reminded him many times of the promise he held to my dear mother, to never force me to marry a man I didn't love, but a day ago, he threatened me with horrid threats, to comply to his wishes. Then I realized that I had no choice but to flee, for even if he would not carry out his threats, I most certainly would not be happy. So I have come hither to find you, and to ask if you would accept me into your band.”
    Robin sat, surveying the her. She was young, and very pretty. Her long brown hair was pulled back in a simple braid. Her dress was sky blue, with slashed false sleeves. A belt of gilded leather was about her waist. Physically, she was strong, and she was tall and slim. Her dark brown eyes were calm now, but behind the mask of feigned strength, was deep sorrow. He pitied her, and already he knew that he would allow her to remain in the forest with them. But he did not say this. Instead, he questioned her further. “Were you not frightened to come to me, after hearing of my reputation?” For it was well known among the wealthy of Nottingham that Robin was a thief. “ I am not easily frightened sir, and I know of your oath never to harm or molest any women or child, thus I had no fear of you, save of what you might say.”
    Robin said nothing, but said suddenly, “String a target, one of you, so we may have some sport!” Several men rushed to do his bidding as a shout went up. “One can not dine with us in Sherwood without some games, maid.” He explained. “Of course. Often have I heard of the shooting in Sherwood forest.” Though her voice remained calm and soft, he caught a hint of frustration in her voice. Turning to her, he saw her disappointment. “I promise you maid, I will consider your request with the utmost care.” She nodded. “Good. Now, be merry with us, and watch the sport, for my men haven't shot for a lady in many a month.” Robin's eyes sparkled with laughter, but the lady herself laughed aloud; a sweet, clear, merry laugh. “Oh, this shall be a merry bout indeed, for the winner shall most certainly win my favour.” Robin smiled, and they walked to were the garland had been strung, several yards off. 
    So the great match began, each man choosing his best bow, his straightest arrow, and all shooting worthy of recognition. Finally it was Robin's turn. He took careful aim, and let the arrow fly. No one breathed as it speed towards the target, and lodged in the centre of the wreath. Shouts went up, for it was a good shot, and it seemed Robin was the winner.
    But as he turned, there stood Rosalyn with a strung bow, waiting behind him. “May I shoot, my lord?” A murmur went through the wood, as Robin nodded, and made way. She stepped up to the target. If the wood was silent before, it was deathly still now. No one moved, no one breathed, no one dared to think. The bow was up, the string was back, and with a twang, the arrow was off. It flew straight and true, with the speed of the wind, and lodged directly on top of Robins arrow, flinging it aside with force, and taking its place. There was a pause, like the calm before a storm, and then a roar of shouts went up. Rosalyn stood, breathing again, silent and solemn, as if she could scarce believe it herself. Finally, once the wood was once again quite, she turned to Robin. “How did you learn to shoot so well?” She laughed, a little breathless laugh. “My brother sir. He said he would not have his sister a delicate creature, and taught me to shoot, so that I could rival any man.” “And rival them you did, Rosalyn.” She looked at him closely. “Ahh, but you name should no longer be Rosalyn but Rose, Lady of the Wood.” And then her eyes lit up, and joy of joys, she understood his words. He laughed. “Welcome to the forest Rose.”  

compiled by Augustus Snodgrass and Sam Weller
“Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” – George Edward Woodberry
“Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.” – Frank Herbert
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Courage is found in unlikely places.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
“Inspiration arrives as a packet of material to be delivered.” – John Updike
“Let your mind alone, and see what happens.” – Virgil Thomson
“Be great in act, as you have been in thought.” – Jean Paul
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Lao Tzu
You may find the worst enemy of best friend in yourself.” English Proverb
Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Winston Churchill
Live each day as if your life had just begun.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” Jim Rohn
If not us, who? If not now, when?” John F. Kennedy
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Bill Cosby
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.
I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I'm doing it myself.” Albert Einstein


by Augustus Snodgrass
Claude Debussy, born August 22, 1862, had a very interesting life. He was born near Paris in St. Germain-en-Laye where his father owned a china shop, and his mother’s occupation was a seamstress. He started studying at the Paris Conservatory at age ten in 1872. There Claude outraged teachers with weird harmonies that broke all rules. From 1880 to 1882, he was part of a piano trio for Nadezhda von Meck, taught children piano, travelled around Italy and Russia, and became familiar with Russian music. In 1883, Debussy got second place in Prix de Rome and then finally won the Prix de Rome in 1883 for his cantata L’enfant Prodigue; however, he felt Rome was a dreary exile from the cafes of Paris and so only stayed there from 1884 to 1887. During the peak of his career in the 1890s, he was a pianist, conductor, and collaborative artist; Claude’s music was described as “supple music easily adaptable to the lyrical fantasy of dreams and of the soul.” During this time he wrote Pelleas et Melisande, an opera based on drama of symbolist poet Maurice Maeterlinck. Despite criticism, it was a success worldwide. From 1900 to 1914, Debussy travelled through Europe conducting his works and holding the reputation as the foremost music critic of his time in artistic journals. He had daughter Claude-Emma with singer Emma Bardac in 1805 and then married Emma three years later. In his last years, Claude Debussy was part of the advisory board of the Paris Conservatoire and worked with Faure, Satie, Chausson, Ravel, and Stravinsky. During 1914, the start of World War I, he did not compose. Claude Debussy died in 1918 from cancer during the bombardment of Paris.
Claude Debussy’s style of music was quite innovative at the time. His style opposed the classic themes of the Classical and Romantic eras. Previously, French music was clear, elegant, and simple. Claude’s music, however, was dreamy and vague. He sought to liberate music from past conventions and traditions, and his impressionist style sought to evoke an image, subtle and discreet. Debussy’s music requires a large orchestra, but not a loud sound. This is created with a muted, airy texture, so that single instruments stand out against the whole ensemble. Claude Debussy’s piano music had a distinctive style with use of register contrast, pedal to blend sounds, clash of dissonance, and use of non-Western scales.
Claude Debussy composed in a number of different genres. These include orchestral music, such as “Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune” and “La Mer”; dramatic works, such as opera Pelleas et Melisande and ballet Jeux; chamber music, such as string quartets and sonatas; piano music, such as “Pour le Piano,” “Estampes,” two books of Preludes, and 12 Etudes; and songs and choral music.
Many of Claude Debussy’s pieces are famous today, but perhaps his most famous piece of music, “Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune,” was written when Debussy was thirty-two years old ( One of my personal favorites – in fact, I even had the privilege to play it myself this past year – is “Passepied” from the Suite bergamasque
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( In summary, Claude Debussy had a large impact on the music world and is still remembered today for his incredibly beautiful and dreamy melodies. We all wish you a happy birthday, Debussy!

by Augustus Snodgrass
Leonard Bernstein was born on August 25, 1918, in Massachusetts. His parents were Russian-Jewish immigrants. Leonard started studying at Harvard at age seventeen, where he studied composition and conducting. In 1943, Bernstein received the position of assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. He subbed at last minute on a national broadcast and instantly became star! During his career, Leonard Bernstein was a composer, educator, pianist, and television personality. He died in 1990.
Leonard Bernstein’s style of music straddled classical and popular styles. He made use of classical composition techniques for Broadway, dissonant harmonies, jazzy rhythms, and soaring melodies. Leonard also had an incredible gift for orchestration.
The variety of genres that Leonard Bernstein composed in is admirable. He wrote for orchestra, chorus and orchestra, operas, musicals, ballets, film scores, chamber music, instrumental music, and solo vocal music.
Two quite well know pieces of music composed by Leonard Bernstein are “Mambo” (Dance at the Gym) and “Tonight” (Ensemble) from West Side Story. Leonard Bernstein contributed a lot to the modern era of music. Happy birthday, Bernstein!

Note: Thanks to my music teacher for describing the styles of music of these two composers and for compiling the biographies!


compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
Graham crackers:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
Graham piecrust (for 9-inch pie shell):
  • 6 ounces graham cracker, recipe above, ground
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
Chocolate ice cream:
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (72 percent), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the graham cracker:
Cut butter into small cubes, add graham flour, bread flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, and chill until everything is cold. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Paddle the dry ingredients on low speed until the butter becomes pea size. Add the honey and water in a thin stream and paddle until it just comes together. Do not knead. Mold into a rectangle, wrap, and then chill at least two hours. Cut into strips, about 1/4-inch thickness; bake forty minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
For the graham piecrust:
Toss the ground graham crackers, brown sugar, and three tablespoons melted butter in a bowl until incorporated. Place the crumb into a pie shell and mold it firmly and evenly onto the bottom and sides.
For the chocolate ice cream:
Whisk a quarter cup sugar, three tablespoons cocoa powder, and salt together. Slowly add milk to make a paste, and then thin it out with rest of the milk. Add the cream. Scald the milk mixture over medium heat. Melt chocolate over a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk the yolks and one tablespoon sugar; then slowly temper in the hot cream. Put everything back into pot. Over low heat, cook the custard until thick, 165 degrees F. Strain the custard into the melted chocolate and whisk to homogenize. Cool over ice bath. Chill overnight. Churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the ice cream is made, you can pour the mixture immediately into the chilled/frozen graham shell. You can top the pie with store bought marshmallow mix or with marshmallow fluff. Torch or broil for thirty seconds to one minute under a broiler, until the top is brown and the marshmallow is gooey inside!
Note: Source of recipe (


compiled by Augustus Snodgrass
Little Nancy was in the garden filling in a hole when her neighbor peered over the fence.  Interested in what the youngster was up to, he asked in his friendliest way, “What are you up to, Nancy?”
“My goldfish died,” replied Nancy tearfully, without looking up, "and I’ve just buried him.”
The neighbor commented, “That’s an awfully big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it?”
Nancy patted down the last heap of earth and then replied... “That's because he’s inside your lousy cat.
Note: Source (

compiled by Sam Weller
Q: What has a foot but no legs?
A: A snail
Q: Poor people have it. Rich people need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?
A: Nothing
Q: What comes down but never goes up?
A: Rain
Q: I’m tall when I’m young, and I’m short when I’m old. What am I?
A: A candle
Q: Mary’s father has 5 daughters, Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono. What is the fifth daughter’s name?
A: If you answered Nunu, you are wrong. It’s Mary!
Q: How can a pants pocket be empty and still have something in it?
A: It can have a hole in it.
Q: In a one-story pink house, there was a pink person, a pink cat, a pink fish, a pink computer, a pink chair, a pink table, a pink telephone, a pink shower... everything was pink!What colour were the stairs?
A: There weren’t any stairs; it was a one story house!
Q: A dad and his son were riding their bikes and crashed. Two ambulances came and took them to different hospitals. The man’s son was in the operating room and the doctor said, “I can’t operate on you. You’re my son.”How is that possible?
A: The doctor is his mom!
Q: What goes up when rain comes down?
A: An umbrella!
Q: What is the longest word in the dictionary?
A: Smiles, because there is a mile between each “s”
Q: If I drink, I die. If I eat, I am fine. What am I?
A: A fire!
Q: Throw away the outside and cook the inside; then eat the outside and throw away the inside. What is it?
A: Corn on the cob, because you throw away the husk, cook and eat the kernels, and throw away the cob.
Q: What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it?
A: Short
Q: What travels around the world but stays in one spot?
A: A stamp
Note: All riddles curtsey of Funology


by Katherine Mansfield, contributed by Theodore Winstint
“… Here’s the man.”
He carried more lilies still, another whole tray.
Bank them up, just inside the door, on both sides of the porch, please,” said Mrs. Sheridan. “Don’t you agree, Laura?”
Oh, I do, mother.”
In the drawing-room Meg, Jose and good little Hans had at last succeeded in moving the piano.
“Now, if we put this chesterfield against the wall and move everything out of the room except the chairs, don’t you think?”
“Hans, move these tables into the smoking-room, and bring a sweeper to take these marks off the carpet and - one moment, Hans - ” Jose loved giving orders to the servants, and they loved obeying her. She always made them feel they were taking part in some drama. “Tell mother and Miss Laura to come here at once.
“Very good, Miss Jose.”
She turned to Meg. “I want to hear what the piano sounds like, just in case I’m asked to sing this afternoon. Let’s try over ‘This life is Weary.’”
Pom! Ta-ta-ta Tee-ta! The piano burst out so passionately that Jose’s face changed. She clasped her hands. She looked mournfully and enigmatically at her mother and Laura as they came in.
“This Life is Wee-ary, A Tear - a Sigh. A Love that Chan-ges, This Life is Wee-ary, A Tear - a Sigh. A Love that Chan-ges, And then … Good-bye!”
But at the word “Good-bye,” and although the piano sounded more desperate than ever, her face broke into a brilliant, dreadfully unsympathetic smile.
“Aren’t I in good voice, mummy?” she beamed.
“This Life is Wee-ary, Hope comes to Die. A Dream - a Wa-kening.”
But now Sadie interrupted them. “What is it, Sadie?”
“If you please, m’m, cook says have you got the flags for the sandwiches?”
“The flags for the sandwiches, Sadie?” echoed Mrs. Sheridan dreamily. And the children knew by her face that she hadn’t got them. “Let me see.” And she said to Sadie firmly, “Tell cook I’ll let her have them in ten minutes.
Sadie went.
“Now, Laura,” said her mother quickly, “come with me into the smoking-room. I’ve got the names somewhere on the back of an envelope. You’ll have to write them out for me. Meg, go upstairs this minute and take that wet thing off your head. Jose, run and finish dressing this instant. Do you hear me, children, or shall I have to tell your father when he comes home to-night? And - and, Jose, pacify cook if you do go into the kitchen, will you? I’m terrified of her this morning.”
The envelope was found at last behind the dining-room clock, though how it had got there Mrs. Sheridan could not imagine.
“One of you children must have stolen it out of my bag, because I remember vividly - cream cheese and lemon-curd. Have you done that?”
“Egg and--“ Mrs. Sheridan held the envelope away from her. “It looks like mice. It can’t be mice, can it?”
“Olive, pet,” said Laura, looking over her shoulder.
“Yes, of course, olive. What a horrible combination it sounds. Egg and olive.”
They were finished at last, and Laura took them off to the kitchen. She found Jose there pacifying the cook, who did not look at all terrifying.
“I have never seen such exquisite sandwiches,” said Jose’s rapturous voice. “How many kinds did you say there were, cook? Fifteen?”
“Fifteen, Miss Jose.”
“Well, cook, I congratulate you.”
Cook swept up crusts with the long sandwich knife, and smiled broadly.
“Godber’s has come,” announced Sadie, issuing out of the pantry. She had seen the man pass the window.
That meant the cream puffs had come. Godber’s were famous for their cream puffs. Nobody ever thought of making them at home.
“Bring them in and put them on the table, my girl,” ordered cook.
Sadie brought them in and went back to the door. Of course Laura and Jose were far too grown-up to really care about such things. All the same, they couldn't help agreeing that the puffs looked very attractive. Very. Cook began arranging them, shaking off the extra icing sugar.
“Don’t they carry one back to all one’s parties?” said Laura.
“I suppose they do,” said practical Jose, who never liked to be carried back. “They look beautifully light and feathery, I must say."
“Have one each, my dears,” said cook in her comfortable voice. “Yer ma won't know.”
Oh, impossible. Fancy cream puffs so soon after breakfast. The very idea made one shudder. All the same, two minutes later Jose and Laura were licking their fingers with that absorbed inward look that only comes from whipped cream.
“Let’s go into the garden, out by the back way,” suggested Laura. “I want to see how the men are getting on with the marquee. They're such awfully nice men.”
But the back door was blocked by cook, Sadie, Godber's man and Hans.
Something had happened.
“Tuk-tuk-tuk,” clucked cook like an agitated hen. Sadie had her hand clapped to her cheek as though she had toothache. Hans’s face was screwed up in the effort to understand. Only Godber’s man seemed to be enjoying himself; it was his story.
“What’s the matter? What’s happened?”
“There’s been a horrible accident,” said Cook. “A man killed.”
“A man killed! Where? How? When?”
But Godber’s man wasn’t going to have his story snatched from under his very nose.
“Know those little cottages just below here, miss?” Know them? Of course, she knew them. “Well, there’s a young chap living there, name of Scott, a carter. His horse shied at a traction-engine, corner of Hawke Street this morning, and he was thrown out on the back of his head. Killed.”
“Dead!” Laura stared at Godber’s man.
“Dead when they picked him up,” said Godber’s man with relish. “They were taking the body home as I come up here.” And he said to the cook, “He’s left a wife and five little ones.”
“Jose, come here.” Laura caught hold of her sister’s sleeve and dragged her through the kitchen to the other side of the green baize door. There she paused and leaned against it. “Jose!” she said, horrified, “however are we going to stop everything?”
“Stop everything, Laura!” cried Jose in astonishment. “What do you mean?”
“Stop the garden-party, of course.” Why did Jose pretend?
But Jose was still more amazed. “Stop the garden-party? My dear Laura, don’t be so absurd. Of course we can’t do anything of the kind. Nobody expects us to. Don’t be so extravagant.”
“But we can’t possibly have a garden-party with a man dead just outside the front gate.”
That really was extravagant, for the little cottages were in a lane to themselves at the very bottom of a steep rise that led up to the house. A broad road ran between. True, they were far too near. They were the greatest possible eyesore, and they had no right to be in that neighbourhood at all. They were little mean dwellings painted a chocolate brown. In the garden patches there was nothing but cabbage stalks, sick hens and tomato cans. The very smoke coming out of their chimneys was poverty-stricken. Little rags and shreds of smoke, so unlike the great silvery plumes that uncurled from the Sheridans' chimneys. Washerwomen lived in the lane and sweeps and a cobbler, and a man whose house-front was studded all over with minute bird-cages. Children swarmed. When the Sheridans were little they were forbidden to set foot there because of the revolting language and of what they might catch. But since they were grown up, Laura and Laurie on their prowls sometimes walked through. It was disgusting and sordid. They came out with a shudder. But still one must go everywhere; one must see everything. So through they went.
“And just think of what the band would sound like to that poor woman,” said Laura.
“Oh, Laura!” Jose began to be seriously annoyed. “If you’re going to stop a band playing every time some one has an accident, you’ll lead a very strenuous life. I’m every bit as sorry about it as you. I feel just as sympathetic.” Her eyes hardened. She looked at her sister just as she used to when they were little and fighting together. “You won’t bring a drunken workman back to life by being sentimental,” she said softly.
“Drunk! Who said he was drunk?” Laura turned furiously on Jose. She said, just as they had used to say on those occasions, “I’m going straight up to tell mother.”
“Do, dear,” cooed Jose.
“Mother, can I come into your room?” Laura turned the big glass door-knob.
“Of course, child. Why, what’s the matter? What’s given you such a colour?” And Mrs. Sheridan turned round from her dressing-table. She was trying on a new hat.
    “Mother, a man’s been killed,” began Laura.
“Not in the garden?” interrupted her mother.
“No, no!”
“Oh, what a fright you gave me!” Mrs. Sheridan sighed with relief, and took off the big hat and held it on her knees.
“But listen, mother,” said Laura. Breathless, half-choking, she told the dreadful story. “Of course, we can’t have our party, can we?” she pleaded. “The band and everybody arriving. They’d hear us, mother; they’re nearly neighbours!”
To Laura’s astonishment her mother behaved just like Jose; it was harder to bear because she seemed amused. She refused to take Laura seriously.
“But, my dear child, use your common sense. It’s only by accident we’ve heard of it. If some one had died there normally - and I can’t understand how they keep alive in those poky little holes - we should still be having our party, shouldn’t we?”
Laura had to say “yes” to that, but she felt it was all wrong. She sat down on her mother’s sofa and pinched the cushion frill.
“Mother, isn’t it terribly heartless of us?” she asked.
“Darling!” Mrs. Sheridan got up and came over to her, carrying the hat. Before Laura could stop her she had popped it on. “My child!” said her mother, “the hat is yours. It’s made for you. It’s much too young for me. I have never seen you look such a picture. Look at yourself!” And she held up her hand-mirror.
“But, mother,” Laura began again. She couldn’t look at herself; she turned aside.
This time Mrs. Sheridan lost patience just as Jose had done.
“You are being very absurd, Laura,” she said coldly. “People like that don’t expect sacrifices from us. And it’s not very sympathetic to spoil everybody’s enjoyment as you’re doing now.”
“I don’t understand,” said Laura, and she walked quickly out of the room into her own bedroom. There, quite by chance, the first thing she saw was this charming girl in the mirror, in her black hat trimmed with gold daisies, and a long black velvet ribbon. Never had she imagined she could look like that. Is mother right? she thought. And now she hoped her mother was right. Am I being extravagant? Perhaps it was extravagant. Just for a moment she had another glimpse of that poor woman and those little children, and the body being carried into the house. But it all seemed blurred, unreal, like a picture in the newspaper. I’ll remember it again after the party’s over, she decided. And somehow that seemed quite the best plan …


by Nathaniel Winkle

Once I saw a snake
It was beautiful and sleek
Crawling by the log

by Nathaniel Winkle

Siblings will be there
Siblings can be companions
They are good to have

by Nathaniel Winkle

I want to travel
Because I have wanderlust
To see every country