Monday, March 29, 2010

The Talking Eggs

The Talking Eggs
by Robert D. San Souci
pictures by Jerry Pinkney
[Traditional/Folk Literature]

Rose and Blanche are sisters who live with their mother. Blanche is the mistreated youngest sibling who is generous, kind, and has heart of gold. Rose is much like her mother, as they are rude, ignorant, and spend their days fantacizing about wealthy lives in the city. One day, Blanche is sent to the well to fetch water for her mother and sister. While she is out, she runs into a weak, faint old woman who was struggling to stand up. The woman kindly asked for a sip of Blanche's water, and Blanche gave it to her without hesitation. When Blanche returned home, her mother and sister were so furious about how long it had taken her that they started beating Blanche, frightening her so much that she ran off into the woods. As she ventured through the woods she ran into the old woman who immediately saw her crying, comforted her, and invited her back to her home. As they went on their way, the old woman made Blanche promise that she would not laugh at what she saw. The next morning, the woman told Blanche to go to the chicken house and take any eggs that say "take me," but not to take any eggs that say "don't take me." She then said to throw the eggs over her shoulder when she got near home. When Blanche got to the chicken house, she noticed that the eggs saying "take me" were plain white eggs, but the eggs saying "don't take me" were beautiful eggs of gold an jewels. Although Blanche was tempted to take the beautiful eggs, she did as she was told and took only the eggs that said "take me." On her way home she threw them over her shoulder, only to find diamonds, rubies, gold, silver, silk dresses, satin eggs, and even a horse-drawn carriage sprouting from the eggs. When she arrived home, her mother and sister were so astonished and jealous of her new plenty that her mother instructed Rose to find her way to the woman's house the next day in hopes of having the same experience. Rose went to the woman's house, but followed none of her directions. When the woman told her about the eggs, Rose naturally took all of the beautiful eggs that she was not supposed to take. As she threw them over her shoulder on the way home, vicious animals erupted from the eggs and began to chase her all the way home. When they arrived home, Blanche had left and moved to the city to live in wealth. Rose and her mother continued to find the woman and her lucky eggs for the rest of their lives, but were never able to do so.

This story would be great to use in the classroom to teach students about character. It could be easily incorporated with a character education or "Do the Right Thing" program. Students would realize the importance of treating everyone with respect and always doing the right thing. They would learn that if you do the right things, good things will come to you without you having to search.

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