e-book Beast and Bird (A short story from The Atlantic) (From the Archives of The Atlantic)

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She read it to her son when he was young, and recalls it was the first book that ever made him cry. But she and her students have noticed that the character Fern, who as a young girl saves and cares for Wilbur the pig, grows up to prioritize a crush on a boy instead. But I think you can have both those experiences of reading at the same time.

Another potential disappointment is that rereading can reveal how your childhood canon excludes other perspectives, Campbell notes. Well-loved books stay the same even as so much else changes. That constancy can be comforting. She will overthrow the colonial regime every time, install a female ruler, and then marry her boyfriend—once he turns from a crow into a man. The emotional lessons literature teaches high school students.

In a study that looked at why people reread books, rewatch movies, and revisit the same places, the researchers interviewed 23 participants about which experiences they chose to repeat, why, and how they felt during it. For one woman in the study, who often rewatched the romantic drama Message in a Bottle, the movie helped her process an upsetting breakup. They would meet at hidden grottoes where the moonlight filtered through the leafy canopy and dappled the ground with silver, and there they would howl and dance, feeling my closeness and giving me a sense of cold joy that left me hollow in a way I had never known before.

It was a strange partnership.

Manual Beast and Bird (A short story from The Atlantic) (From the Archives of The Atlantic)

Like a lover's embrace separated by the glass of a window pane. And yet despite this separation I knew I was having an influence over them. As though I were infecting them with a part of myself. Their number grew and they became more wild and aware, yet this heightened consciousness was closer to madness than anything and a mortal observer of their dance would no doubt have been stricken dumb with horror and fled the scene.

12222 RACE STARTS DECEMBER 12th

They became feral and some did not return to their homes. Instead they roamed the wood like wolves. In the forest, some mile or so from the village, lived a woodsman, a giant of a man with long wild hair and cold gray eyes who rarely associated with the people of Broadenburg and many of them thought him mad. He was often gone from his home for most of the day wandering the wood and did not return until late. One such evening, when the moon was shrouded in dark clouds foretelling a coming storm, as he approached the clearing to his home, a feeling of dread and fear gripped him, no doubt some woodwise sense he had developed over many years in the forests.

He hesitated, then, axe in hand, began to run. The closer he came to the cabin the greater his fear of what he might find there increased, as did the urgency to protect his family from the nameless terror he felt growing like the darkness around him. The door was open and he burst in. Forever afterward he wished he had not returned that night, better to have been felled by some savage beast or maybe drowned in the swollen fork of the Brachen.

His wife and his three children lay twisted horribly amongst broken furniture, bloodied and mutilated.


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A pack of the more feral and infected dogs were devouring the remains. The Woodsman went mad with rage and slew them all with his axe. Then, stricken with grief and the insanity of what he had seen, he ran blindly until he came to the village. There, he stumbled into the Brachenfork Inn. Such a sight had never been witnessed in the sleepy village in anyone's memory.

The woodsman, holding his axe and covered in gore stood staring at the horror stricken patrons. Then he spoke, "We are damned. All of us. The people of Broadenburg were aghast at what they guessed had occurred.

e-book Beast and Bird (A short story from The Atlantic) (From the Archives of The Atlantic)

A small party was formed to investigate the woodsman's cabin while another took the poor, blubbering man into custody and locked him in the root cellar of the town administrator. He would not respond to their questions so they waited, hoping for answers when the group who had gone into the wood returned. Just before dawn they were spotted reemerging from the forest edge, grim and ashenfaced.

They had stayed to bury the remains of the victims. The dogs they put on a pile and burned. There was no doubt in their minds that the woodsman had murdered his family.


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What puzzled them were the dogs. They had recognized some and with the strange disappearances that had been taking place it could only be guessed that the woodsman's madness had somehow included the kidnapping and perhaps ritual slaughter of the poor beasts. A courier was sent to the nearest magistrate, three days ride along the south road, as the villagers had not the authority to try or condemn the man. I was aware of all of this, lying on the dung heap, with the tendrils of my incorporeal self winding through the forest and fields and creeping ever more tightly into a stranglehold over the village of Broadenburg.

When the king saw he might no more do, he began to weep, and said to his daughter: Now shall I never see thine espousals. And when the eight days were passed they came to him and said: Thou seest that the city perisheth: Then did the king do array his daughter like as she should be wedded, and embraced her, kissed her and gave her hls benediction, and after, led her to the place where the dragon was. When she was there S. George passed by, and when he saw the lady he demanded the lady what she made there and she said: Go ye your way fair young man, that ye perish not also.

Then said he: Tell to me what have ye and why weep ye, and doubt ye of nothing. When she saw that he would know, she said to him how she was delivered to the dragon. Then said S. George: Fair daughter, doubt ye no thing hereof for I shall help thee in the name of Jesu Christ. Thus as they spake together the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground.

And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard. When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair. Then she led him into the city, and the people fled by mountains and valleys, and said: Alas! Then S. George said to them: Ne doubt ye no thing, without more, believe ye in God, Jesu Christ, and do ye to be baptized and I shall slay the dragon.

Then the king was baptized and all his people, and S. George slew the dragon and smote off his head, and commanded that he should be thrown in the fields, and they took four carts with oxen that drew him out of the city. Then were there well fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children, and the king did do make a church there of our Lady and of S. The adoption of George as a national saint famed for slaying a dragon all but ensured the popularity of this mythical genre in England, leading to a slew of local versions of the tale — all generally loaded with the same allegorical intent.

The dragon from then onwards also became a national symbol to the Britons, and for this very reason the red dragon is the symbol depicted upon the Welsh national flag. This famous tale from the north of England in the vicinity of the River Wear is still an immensely popular part of local tradition. He seeks the sage advice of an old witch who counsels him how he might best defeat the beast whose existence he is responsible for.

Although similar to the St George myth, it contains elements of indigenous British beliefs about rivers and holy wells that were important to our Celtic ancestors. We know of this worm because of a legend attached to a medieval sword known as the Conyers Falchion, traditionally presented to each new Bishop of Durham when he takes up his position. Early 17thC.

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The sword now lives at Durham Cathedral. Just further north in the Scottish borders we find the story of the Worm of Linton — a dragon who lived in a den on the local hill, supposed to have been defeated by a knight called de Somerville who plunged a burning lump of peat into its maw on the end of his iron lance. Robert Lambe. Like the other British dragon stories alluded to, the story attaches the slaying of a dragon to the provenance of some aristocratic family and their self-proclaimed right to rule.

The hero, Moore of Moore Hall, ambushes the dragon by hiding in its favourite drinking well cloaked in spiked armour. When the dragon comes to drink he leaps out and combat ensues.

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The hero, wearing spiked shoes, finishes off the dragon with a kick:. They secretly lambasted local politicians and people of power. That rivers arise in lakes, pools or in caves or spring wells up on mountain sides has made such sites the classical typical den of the legendary dragons of myth.

Hermes and Aphrodite were credited in mythology with coupling to produce the androgynous god Hermaphroditus , venerated in the consumation of marriage as an expression of the combination of male and female sexuality.


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Hermes: archetypal night-flying daimon, sneaky penetrator, trickster, and herald of dreams. From the classical period onwards after the 7thC BCE depictions of Greek gods increasingly became more figurative, and the word hermai came to be applied to those monuments associated with Hermes: often assuming the form of a simple square pillar surmounted with a carved head of the god, and exhibiting a phallus on the column at waist height.

Learn English Through Story ★ Subtitles: The bird of happiness

In many ways they were similar to the older Egyptian depictions of the ithyphallic god Min.