OUR STUDENTS’ WORK
SENT IN TO THE GREAT BOOKS ACADEMY
Shurley Grammar Essay by one of our 5th graders, Quinn D.
I live in Alaska, the 49th state in the winter. I stay with my cool grandpa in a small village call the Nikiski. Alaska is the most northern state in the United States and the weather can be very cold in the winter.
My favorite spot in Alaska is my Grandpa’s log cabin in the woods. The cabin is on a big hill with a lake at the bottom. We go sledding down the hill and onto the frozen lake. If we like, we can clear the snow from parts of the lake and go skating. We go cross country skiing on the lake and on some of the trails in the woods. My cousins have snow machines. We have big parties with all my cousins and ride snow machines all day. Even when the weather is cold and snowy, we just dress warm and have fun. There are many mountains near Grandpa’s house. It is fun to spend all day down hill skiiing. My favorite place to ski is called the Mount Alyeska.
Most of all, I enjoy my Grandpa. He is too old to ski now, but he tells us stories that are interesting. He used to run sled dogs when he was young. He even ran sled dogs in the Army because he is so good at it. His favorite lead dog was Murphy. When the Alasken Earthquake came in 1964, Grandpa, my mom, Uncle Stan and Aunt Gretchen were out on the lake coming home in the dog sled. The ice broke into little pieces and water was everywhere. Grandpa says he was scared and wanted to get off the lake. He yelled at Murphy who was scared too. Murphy pulled hard and got the other dogs pulling. They got Grandpa off the lake with mom, Uncle Stan and Aunt Gretchen and took them to the nearest house.
Murphy is dead now and Grandpa doesn’t run sled dogs anymore, but he can still tell stories. I love Alaska and I think it is one of the most interesting states. Alaska reminds me of my Grandpa.
Reuel’s Favorite Reading from this Quarter 3rd – 10th Grade Program
My favorite reading from this quarter has been Tacitus’ Annuls of Imperial Rome because it has given me an indepth look at the characters of ancient people and the many similarities they have with modern people. I also enjoyed reading this book because I want to some day become a film director and make a movie about some of its most fascinating characters. These two reasons make Tacitus’ Annuls, my most interesting reading assignment for this quarter.
The thing I love most about Tacitus’ writing is that he takes time to document into his histories in-depth accounts of people’s lives. These accounts enable me to broaden my understanding of the progression of civilization by showing me that people and the way they react to things have not drastically changed over the centuries. A good example of this is in Tacitus’ Annuls, chapter 23, entitled Innocent Victims. This chapter is full of intrigue and conspiracy over the planed assassination of the tyrant Nero. The conspirators involved in this plot are mostly in it for one of two motives, either their own future benefits or for those of their country once Nero is dead. When both these kinds of conspirators are found out by Nero and punished, they react in a way that is predictable to their nature. The self seeking ones become traitors and inform on their comrades, and the noble conspirators die by torture rather then inform on their compatriots. To summarize this paragraph, I believe this book has taught me that people are usually similar in the way they deal with things no matter what age they live in.
When I get older, I would like to become a movie director and make a film about the lives and deeds of some of Rome’s most courageous generals. To do this I would use Tacitus’ Annuls of Imperial Rome as one of my main source books, since it is one of the most indepth historical accounts of ancient Rome around. The reason I wish to make this film is to preserve the memory of courageous men in a medium of art that is more popular nowadays then books. Movies are watched by more people than historical documentaries, so I would definitely make my film into a movie. This movie would be about Roman generals and would let a modern day person see the struggles, hardships, and persistence that was required to keep the huge nation of Rome safe and secure. It would also show viewers the struggles generals went through in obeying the stupid and ignorant commands of the senators and populace of Rome.
The first movie that I would make would be about the famous general Germanicus. Tacitus gives an indepth account of him in his chapters Mutiny on the Frontiers and War with the Germans so I would have plenty of information about him. Germanicus was a general on the Roman\German frontier during the reign of Tiberius, who was his uncle. He won many fierce battles against the Germans and succeeded in reducing the fierce tribes of the Chatti and Cherusci. He also helped settle the frequent mutinies that were occurring in the various Roman camps due to old age, disreputable conditions, and lack of money. He achieved this by declaring that a soldier only had to serve his country for twenty years at the most. Germanicus was known to be a compassionate conqueror, kind father and loyal husband. All of these attributes, despite needing to be honored and remembered, make for a great movie. People love heroes like Germanicus because they never give in to things they know are wrong, always protect those who are weaker than them, and live their lives honorably even when they are mistreated. Germanicus, being all these things and more, deserves to have a movie be made in his honor.
I have had an instructive and enlightening time reading and studying the Annuls of Imperial Rome. Overall, comprehending Tacitus’ work has been a huge advancement in furthering my education and understanding of the classics. Giving me the history of Rome and her great people has made me more intelligibly understand philosophers whenever they discuss matters pertaining to ancient Rome. Discovering the history of the ancient world through writers such as Tacitus is a constant joy that I look forward to whenever I begin to read their marvelous works.
Northwood resident Hunter G. is one of five youngsters cast as Tiny Tim in the Musical Theatre Village production “A Christmas with Scrooge” opening tonight, Thursday, and continuing weekends through Dec. 28.
“I think Tiny Tim is the best role I’ve ever played,” said Hunter. “I have tons of solos, too.” Those include “One Bright Start in Bethlehem” and “Tim’s Carol,” among others.
Of his character, Hunter said, “Tiny Tim’s a sickly boy so he’s very, very good. He’s part of the surplus population,” he added, echoing a line from the mean spirited Scrooge.
Surpisingly, Hunter said his favorite line in the show is not the concluding “God bless us everyone!” but the early street scene when he is with his father, Bob Cratchit, and says, “Oh no, sir, we are on our way to work.”
According to Hunter’s mother, Carolyn G., who homeschools Hunter through Great Books Academy, when he’s not playing Tiny Tim he’s in the chorus in other performaces.
Creative Writing sent to us by M. C. one of our 3rd grade students.
The Adventures of Sono
It came in this way began the Flower of the Wise. This sparrow, an ordinary sparrow with it’s bright red wings had been flying for days, weeks, or even months, in a land that had no name or direction. When you were going North you really going South, and when you going South you were really going North, and so on and so forth. But anyway this sparrow being an ordinary sparrow didn’t want to go either way. He was just flying around looking for a spot to make a nest.
He had been flying around like this for some time when his head began to nod, and he just about fell asleep. He lifted himself up strait and waited for a tree to come in sight. Unfortunately there was not one tree in that valley that he was in. His eyes began to get moist, then suddenly he spotted a little flower patch were the flowers were huge enough to put three bird nests in. The sparrow turned toward them wanting to alight on the one in the middle, which could hold four nests. It was the largest and the prettiest. Suddenly he felt so sleepy the things in front of him went blank. Everything except the middle Flower which the sparrow wanted to nest in. Then down he went, heading strait for the middle Flower’s stem. His beak went into it and it flue up into the air, and the wind carried it away over hills and waters, villages and towns, seas and even a few oceans. Then it fell into a poor gardener’s garden were it’s stem right away went deep, deep down into the warm soil.
Two years went by and still the large Flower remained as beautiful and delicate as before, and it didn’t grow any bigger, or wilt a little and grow smaller. The farmer, Hagor Bine didn’t bother about it, but his boy did. The small child played only by that one Flower and no-were else. His father began to get suspicious about his boy, and one day he looked at the Flower and wondered: were did it come from. I didn’t plant it. It couldn’t have grown here. There are no flowers for miles around here, and flowers of course do not grow so fast!
Well, he couldn’t do a thing about it. Whenever Hagor tried to pull the Flower out he just ended up getting his hand grass stained. To the little boys delight Hagor had agreed to keep the Flower.
Now this young boy’s name was Sono Bine, and liking this Flower so much he had given it a name, Sun-Beauties.
Now one-day Hagor and his wife and Sono decided to leave their house and go to a town called Dechilia. But Sono didn’t want to leave his Flower at there old home, so he went into the back garden and pulled on the Flower to make it come out. Suddenly it did, roots and all.
‘As if it really wanted to go with me,’ chuckled Sono hugging the Flower.
Hagor jumped three feet in the air when he saw Sono with Sun-Beauties.
‘How on….’ He stopped. ‘How on earth did you get that horrible Flower out of the ground? Why, I myself couldn’t even budge it!’
‘Father,’ said Sono, ‘that’s because you were always mean to it. You tried to cut it down, you tried to squash it, and last of all you didn’t care about it. I am sure that this Flower is no ordinary Flower, like the ones you sell at the market. This Flower is alive!’
‘Well, well, you may think so, my boy, but that Flower is not going to last that long.’
‘Just try to destroy it, Father.’
I am not going to destroy it, you are. I will force you myself. You will burn it.’
‘ I would never to such a thing to Sun-Beauties, and besides, you can’t really even destroy it.’
At this Hagor flew into a rage. ‘That thing is a flower, and you think it’s alive? Well, we’ll just have to see about that ourselves! Won’t we?’
‘No,’ said Sono shaking his head. ‘Only if it may be the Flower’s will, Father,’ and tossed Sun-Beauties into the air, and again it worked. The air, since there was no wind at all carried Sun-Beauties far, far away to the very ends of the earth were it fell into the ocean and taken in by the Sea fairies.
Mean while Sono was looking up at the sky trying to catch another glimpse of the Flower.
‘Sono,’ called Mynah, (Hagor’s wife). ‘Quickly leave us. Your father wants to destroy that Flower of yours. But here, take these.’
She handed him a small sack containing bread, cheese, and meat. Then she gave him a bow and an arrow pouch full of red arrows with brown feathers and the end of each, and last of all she gave him a sword of all silver.
‘Take these,’ she repeated. ‘They may come to use one day. Right now I want you to go to a land that has no name or direction. Here a wizard lives, and he will be able to teach you how to use these things. You may call the land The Land of the Unbelieved.’
Sono at hearing that name, for he remembered a storyteller who said that
The Land of the Unbelieved, The Flower of the Wise, and The Beginning of Magic was true!
‘But,’ said Sono, ‘are those three stories real?’
‘What three stories, Sono,’ asked Mynah.
‘The Land of the Unbelieved, The Beginning of Magic, and The Flower of the Wise.’
Mynah sighed. ‘Yes, all three of them,’ she whispered. ‘Now fly. Your father is coming.’
It would be strange to leave your own home and to face the dangers of the outside world. Well, this is what Sono did.
I can tell you that Sono did not at all like doing this, but he did want to find his beloved Flower. It was a sunny day, but rather pale. Sono was a little scared. He didn’t know what to do with his sword, so he found no use in that, but he knew perfectly well what to do with the bow and arrows, so he found much use in that. He sighed when he looked ahead and saw the mountain May-Snow.
‘How am I to ever cross May-Snow?’ he asked himself. ‘Many of our kind have said that they would surely cross it, but they all slipped into the cracks of ice. Well, if I my destination is beyond this mountain I might as well go up it or around it.’
Just then a little man appeared. Sono instantly knew him. ‘Uncle Mattoon!’ he cried out. ‘Yes,’ said the little man, ‘it’s me, but what ever are you doing her, sonny?’
‘I have been sent to cross May-Snow to get to a wizard that lives in a land with no name or direction.’
‘Well,’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘I don’t think you will ever get over or past it with-out falling through one of those trap doors that Sor…’ He suddenly stopped.
‘Please go on,’ begged Sono.
‘This is no place for telling these kind of stories like this,’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘Would you like to come with me into my house. Oh no! I left the teakettle on the fire! Here, come with me. I was just getting supper ready.’
Uncle Mattoon’s house unexpectedly was right by them in a snow bank. It would look very small to you, but to Uncle Mattoon it was a rather large house.
It was very comfortable with it’s two, soft, woolen chairs, the little, round table mad out of wood, the small fire that was blazing wildly be now, and then there was the small kitchen and bed.
But the thing that interested Sono most was a large door at the back of the house.
‘What is that?’ said Sono.
‘Oh,’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘That is the back door were the Mites sleep. It is very large if you go deeper into my tunnels, but right now lets take our minds out of the tunnels.’
‘Mites!’ cried Sono. ‘What are they? Are they some kind of other creature, Uncle Mattoon?’
‘Well, yes. You could say that. I found the in the mountain. I don’t know if that is their proper name though. They may be the lost friends of our, because, well, some of them look kind of familiar.’
‘Are they here at the moment?’ cried Sono.
‘Yes,’ said a voice outside the door.
‘Atha!’ said Sono jumping about a foot into the air. ‘What one earth are you doing out here?’
‘Look,’ said Atha. ‘I am not in debt about crossing the mountain or anything like that. I just came here to make a living helping this wizard…’
‘Wizard!’ said Sono. ‘What wizard? You don’t mean…’
‘I am the wizard,’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘I was sent years ago by Mr. Blissidy to go to a wizard by following a small path that was so deep in snow you could hardly see it at all. When I finely arrived there I was greeted by Cilia, the wizard Cytemine. Cytemine taught me all about sword fighting, aiming an arrow, and then he taught me some wizardry, or would you call it sorcery?’
‘I’ll go with wizardry,’ said Atha.
‘Wizardry,’ said Sono.
‘Well, any way. I was ready to go away and find a use for my trades that I had learned while I was at Cytemine’s rock home, for Cytemine and his daughter lived in a rock palace.
‘Wizard Mattoon,’ said Atha, ‘didn’t you tell me this story before? I remember the wizard Cytemine’s name and what you did with him and all that, but you never finished the story.’
‘You never finish any stories that are about yourself,’ corrected Sono. ‘Why don’t you, Uncle, I mean Wizard Mattoon? They all seam so interesting, especially at the last part that you tell us about. But I don’t understand why you don’t tell us about the other parts though.’
They were all silent for about four minutes until Atha said, ‘All right, Wizard Mattoon. I’m starving were is supper?’
‘It’s still cooking,’ said Uncle Mattoon, ‘but I think it’s finished now,’ and he ran over to the small fire were they could see the two biggest fish they had ever seen in there whole life.
‘Atha,’ whispered Sono. ‘How did you find Uncle Mattoon anyway?’
‘I would like to tell you it after supper, but if you insist…’
‘Come over to supper if your hungry, Atha,’ said Uncle Mattoon laughing cheerfully. ‘Do any of you remember what fish tastes like?’
‘No,’ said Sono and Atha almost at the same time.
‘Good,’ said Uncle Mattoon, ‘because this is the time to celebrate Saphona. Anyway, I don’t remember what fish tastes like either. Well, dig in. I haven’t too much time to spend with you right now. I have to cook the Mites supper in a few minutes.’
‘All right,’ said Atha, ‘go ahead. I have to have a word or two with Sono. By the way, when you come back I would like you to tell us why you never finish those stories of yourself.’
‘Um,’ said Sono, ‘Uncle Mattoon, what is Saphona?’
‘It’s the Day of Giladaclis and Giladacris,’ said Atha cheerfully. ‘My favorite time of the year! You’ll love it. Latter on tonight we’ll go in through these passages to the top of Mount May-Snow; and there the Mites have set out a feast, turkey, fish, venison, beef, cake, snow sugar, apple sauce, and then there the dancing and singing.’
‘Then who are Giladaclis and Giladacris?’ asked Sono. ‘Some lord and lady perhaps?’
‘Close,’ said Uncle Mattoon, ‘but they are a king and queen, and please don’t act so rude toward their Majesties. King Giladacris and Queen Giladaclis is the Lord and Lady of the land you are searching for to find this wizard. The Land that has no name or direction you may call it, but I call it Andia-Landano or The Land of the Unbelieved.’
‘Didn’t I hear,’ said Sono, ‘that story from that old man that came to our house and told me those stories of The Land of the Unbelieved, The Flower of the Wise, but I forget the name of the other one.’
‘You did,’ said Uncle Mattoon, ‘that was me.’
‘Then why did you disguise yourself,’ asked Sono.
‘I didn’t disguise myself. I was wearing my old cloak, just as wizards wear their own.’
Sono and Atha stood face to face until a knock on the little door disturbed them.
‘No doubt it’s Middat,’ muttered Uncle Mattoon as he hobbled off toward the door.
‘Wizard Mattoon!’ said a little man, ‘there was a rock just around the corner, and it’s broken everything, save the five potion’s.’
‘You don’t mean it broke the Littile and the Fiath, Middat,’ said Uncle Mattoon.
‘No,’ said Middat,’ but if it wasn’t for Citable it would have been smashed to pieces immediately.’
Uncle Mattoon gave a sigh of relief, and then glanced at the winter sky.
It was dole and cold. The sun was already sinking beyond the mountaintops, and all he could see was the dark, cold mountains that surrounded May-Snow. The snowflakes were to big that they could build a mountain in a week. And then he noticed the biggest snowflake he had ever seen. It couldn’t have been a Mite, for they were not as small as this snowflake, or whatever it was, and it was certainly not a dwarf, for dwarfs weren’t that big. Then to his surprise the snowflake stopped in front of the open door. Now he could see that it was not a mite or a dwarf. It was Cilia, the wizard Cytemine’s daughter.
‘Cilia!’ cried Uncle Mattoon and Atha almost at the same time.
‘Whatever are you doing hear?’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘Do you have a message from Cytemine?’
‘No,’ said Cilia, ‘he is right behind me. We have come all that long way to spend Saphona with you.’
‘But Cilia,’ said Atha, ‘aren’t you going to spend Saphona with Giladacris and Giladaclis?’
‘Their coming too,’ said Cilia, ‘in their snowflake carriage drawn by those giant, white butterflies.’
Just then a white carriage came up, and Cytemine, bending down came in through the low door, and after him came King Giladacris and Queen Giladaclis.
‘Middat,’ whispered Uncle Mattoon, ‘get the feast set up, and quickly too.’
‘Well, Mattoon,’ said King Giladacris, ‘I can see that you made this house especially for winter.’
‘I did,’ said Uncle Mattoon, ‘but I myself didn’t do it. The Mites did, or whatever they really are.’
‘The Moons are up,’ said Atha, ‘it’s time to take the passage up to the top of May-Snow! The Mites are waiting, Wizard Mattoon, lets go.’
Wizard Mattoon quickly snatched a small candle, and in front he guided them all up a steep tunnel that seamed to have no end. You would thank it mighty cold if you were down there, but to them it was surprisingly hot. Even though Sono and Atha were at the back, they felt like they were in front, because it was so dark that you couldn’t see you hand even if you held it right up to your face.
Suddenly they all came out of the darkness and found themselves in a large area with little people all around it.
Sono immediantly recognized a small man with a large hat, and dressed in a green robe.
‘Mr. Bliklethan!’ he said in a rather awkward voice. ‘How in the world did you get here? You were helping Father load the wagon when he saw you last. Oh, it seams such a long time ago though.’
‘Yes, my boy,’ said the little man. ‘It is me, though I hardly think it is.’
‘What do you mean?’ asked Sono.
‘Yes, I was helping your father when you saw me last, and also when I saw you last, Sono. When helping him a strange shadow cast over me. I looked up, and saw the most unexpected thing I ever saw. I flying lizard.’
‘Did it have and wings?’ said Sono.
‘No,’ said Bliklethan, ‘It was just floating in the air. My eyes followed it, and suddenly I felt myself floating beside that flying lizard.’
‘Then there must have been some trickery in the sky,’ said Sono. ‘Even in The Book of all Magic Spell there no such thing.’
‘Sono,’ said Bliklethan, ‘whoever it be made that book does not know all things, and then there’s you haven’t even read the Book or seen it.’
‘Well, that’s true.’
‘But there was no trickery in the air, it was an un-winged, flying lizard. The ones that Sorc…’
‘You know? That’s exactly what Uncle Mattoon did. He didn’t finish his Sorc period thing.’
‘We’re just not supposed to tell any one about this, certainly not a boy from a farmyard. The Great King Giladacris has made us all swear we will not tell any boys or girls whatsoever. I don’t know why, but there was something about him when he to us not to.’
Then they stopped for the feast was beginning. King Giladacris was strolling around the edges of May-Snow’s top, and beautiful Queen Giladaclis was sitting down on a flowerbed sucking some strong wine that the Mites wanted her to try for them. Some of the Mites were sitting down on stumps and a few giant mushrooms eating turkey, beef, fish, venison, and all the rest of the fine foods; the rest of the Mites were tending the King and Queen. They could see that the King’s face was looking rather dull. His face was looking toward the snowy mountain with the little green grass tops popping up now and then.
‘Mountain sickness again,’ muttered Bliklethan glancing at the King. ‘He always has it when he’s up here. That always makes me wonder why he comes at all of he hates it up here.’
‘I make him,’ said a voice, which as would think not at all normal. It was a soft, strong voice, or rather a beautiful, gentle voice. This made Bliklethan turn his head toward the Queen, sitting on her flowerbed with two Mites on either side of her.
Bliklethan bit his lips nervously as if he was going to say some thing, but he kept quiet and smiled at Queen Giladaclis.
But Sono didn’t think it was Mountain Sickness that was bothering the King. He had had mountain sickness before, and his face turned white. ‘I don’t think so, Bliklethan,’ said Sono.
Suddenly King Giladacris said, ‘Mattoon, are those traps that I see down there?’ ‘They are, your most high Majesty,’ said Uncle Mattoon. ‘I am getting rid of them as soon as the snows over.’
‘No, I am afraid you will have to get rid of them now. Soon the snow will cover them and your Mites will walk into them. And its no good losing even one mite.’
‘Yes, your most high Majesty, but may I ask why?’
‘Mattoon, I want the Mites hearing. I’ll tell you after the feast.’
‘Wizard Mattoon,’ said Sono. ‘I was just wondering why there are all those old cloaks up in your closet?’
‘I, like Wizard Cytemine train boys to become wizards. Oh, did you see that old book in the corner, Sono. It is a very treasured book.’
‘No. Why is it treasured,’ said Sono.
‘Cytemine gave it to me. It is the Seventh Book of all Spells. I have read it three times so I can memorize it when time comes to use the Spells. I could train you t be a wizard, but you’re a little to young. I have train four boys to become wizard. I fist train them to ride on flying horses and use swords and then they take the book back to their house to study it. And in a week they give it back. That’s why I treasure it, Sono.’
‘What are you talking about,’ said Atha, her mouth full of strawberries. ‘Sono, did you know about Sor…’
‘What’s the good of talking when there’s plenty of food to eat,’ interrupted Uncle Mattoon for some reason. The Mites were busy serving the King and Queen and Cytemine and Cilia, and some of the higher Mites. The two huge fish, which Uncle Mattoon had cooked, were on the table, and so were all the treats. Sono of course was not a mountain boy, so he didn’t care for the mountain goats meet, and he was not totally a sea boy, so he took very little of the fish. But that wasn’t all. All the treats that Atha had said were served were there, but there was still a whole lot more.
Now Sono could see the queen. She was dressed in white and gold lace. Her gold hair was not in buns or braids; it was hanging down her back. On her head there was a silver crown with white and blue diamonds. Sono could see gold sparkles in hair. Her eyes were as blue as the sky’s sunset. Around her waist was a gold chain with a big, blue ruby on it, and around the ruby there were smaller white ones, which became smaller and smaller as it circled away from the big ruby. ‘Mittletan,’ she called, ‘were is Middat? He told me he was coming back with a message for me.’
‘I am right here, you Grace,’ said Middat coming out far, dark end. ‘Here is the letter that you wanted.’
Sono watched while Queen Giladaclis opened the letter. Her eyes went from one way to the other, never blinking. Then he happened to look at Middat. He was watching the queen silently from a corner; also staring at the small piece of paper. ‘Take it to Giladacris,’ said Giladaclis silently, as if deep in thought. ‘I am not to deal with those Sorcorlans.’
The little Mite walked slowly toward Giladacris. His face was a pale blue color.
‘Sorcorlans,’ said Middat to King Giladacris.
‘What?’ cried King Giladacris, ‘I thought they had all gone to Manocor? S. had not even taken forces with Simtanines.’
‘No,’ said Middat. ‘Clortainitor disagreed to go on flying lizards and learn the Magic Words to Ianda the Fate-teller.’
‘I thought she was dead?’
‘Well, S. had found her and taken her to Helithealer. He had twenty Sorcorlans tend to her day and night. She had stayed up in her high tower for three years till she was all right, and could spray her wonder all over Sorcortainior. What a fool he was to not take her to Mildasta, the Healer of All Wounds.’
‘Actually, Middat, she is only the Healer of all Sorcorlans wounds, that means all the Sorcorlans only need to come to her to heal them. But Ianda is not a Sorcorlan. She is a Simtanine, and before I thought her dead she wanted secretly wanting to go back to Clortainitor’s side. It may be that she still wishes that very wish.’
‘Oh, I hope so,’ said Atha.
‘Atha!’ said Middat. ‘What are you doing listening to this?’
‘She may listen to this, but none of the boys may,’ said King Giladacris, which is now to be called just Giladacris.
Now Sono slipped away quietly not to be seen. ‘Atha,’ he called. ‘I’m sorry, but I heard all that King Giladacris and Middat said together.’
‘That’s all right,’ said Atha, ‘I actually was just going to tell you, but remember: don’t do anything about it, really. If we do, well, I don’t know what would hap- pen, but I can tell you this: King Giladacris was surely be very mad at us if we did.’
‘Ok,’ said Sono.
Now it was time for the rest of the High Mites to come out of their holes. They were only allowed after the moon was up, and the larger half of the feast was starting. The air was full of the voices of the little mite people. Sono just about forgot all about what he had heard, but even if he did Atha would have reminded him. Giladacris had gone over to talk to one of the High Mites named Gittaller. Giladaclis (as we are now to call her) was picking flowers with the young, girl mites and spreading them on the thirteenth Saphona Cloth.
Now when Atha or Sono spoke they couldn’t even hear themselves, and they could hardly move or they would walk into one of the mites, which were all over the place now. But at least Sono and Atha could see each other, and Giladacris and Giladaclis, because the Mites heads were so low.
‘Atha,’ cried Sono, though he didn’t hear it. Then he heard a faint “Yes”, but he didn’t answer in case it was a mite that was talking to someone else. Most of the Mites had leaf plates in there hands, with all kinds of good foods to eat.
Suddenly he heard a voice behind him, which said kindly “Are you Sono”. He immediantly looked behind him. It was Giladacris.
‘I am, your most high Majesty,’ was all Sono could say.
‘I know that you were listening to Middat and me.’
‘I am sorry, but I did.’
‘That’s all right. Thetil has already heard about it too.’
‘I’ll show you if you want me to.’
Sono was silent for a minute, then, ‘Yes, please, you Majesty.’
‘Alright,’ said Giladacris, ‘but please don’t call me majesty. Just call me Gilada- cris.’
Sorcor the Great
Giladacris led Sono through a small door in the mountain’s side. They went a deep down into that door passage until they came to a smaller door. Giladacris whispered something into it, and the door opened. Inside the door there was a desk and a small stool, and then there was a bed in the corner. But the thing that surprised Sono most was a boy with a small dog that was staring at them.
‘Giladacris,’ said the boy, which was Thetil. ‘I lost my book in the corridor. You said you’d find it.’
‘I have it,’ said Giladacris handing him a big book with small writings on it, and a picture of a globe that looked like a magic crystal, which Sono had seen in a book. At the top of the book cover was a writing, which said in large letters MAGIC ADICION. Then Giladacris said, ‘Thetil, I would like to introduce you to someone,’ making way for Sono. ‘This is Sono, Sono, this is Thetil.’
Now Sono could see Thetil properly. ‘I have to go right now,’ said Giladacris, and left the room.
‘Hello,’ said Thetil. ‘Are you a wizard?’
‘Do you want to be one?’
‘No, not really.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘Well, I have seen wizards books, and it makes me think what a lot of practice and memory that is to learn.’
‘Not if you were born to be a wizard it wouldn’t.’
‘Well, I wasn’t born to be a wizard. Really I was just a farm boy, until…’
‘What? Until what?’
‘I found a flower which I named Sun-beauties because the seed in it looked like they were dancing when the sun first came up. It was huge. I could have fit three of those huge books that Wizard Mattoon has in it,’ said Sono.
‘You need kidding?’ said Thetil with his mouth open.
‘Why should I be kidding?’
‘Because that Flower Giladacris and Giladaclis have been seeking all their lives, well not all there lives, but most of it. That may be The Flower of Earth, The Hope of Andia-Landano, (which is Giladacris’s land). It may be The Flower of the Wise.’
‘It can’t be, Thetil.’
‘Yes it can. Do you still have the Flower?’
‘No, I was trying to save it from being burnt.’
‘Burnt with what?’
‘Fire of course.’
‘Oh, I thought he was going to burn it with Classich.’
‘What is Classich?’
‘A special kind of light which can burn the Flower, but it cannot destroy It. But you did save it, didn’t you, because if you didn’t we may have been in serious trouble, or would be.’
‘I don’t really know if I saved it or not. I through it in the air, and It just floated away. I know I shouldn’t have done it.’
‘In a way you were right. First: if you hadn’t done it your father may have put it in fire that looked ordinary, but really it had a special kind of Classich in it, which would make the Flower disappear, and we would never find it. Second: if you did do it, It may have landed in our enemies hands, and Andia-Landano would be ruined forever. Third: if you had just kept the Flower with you and run away you could have given Giladacris the Flower, and he could help Fieth, the Lord of all Fiaths, and his wife and queen, Queen Fiesta. They are the Third Greatest of all Lords of the Upper World.’
‘Who’s the First and Second?’
‘I am not allowed to tell you the First right now, but I can tell you the Second pair: King Giladacris and Queen Giladaclis.’
‘Why can’t you tell me who the First is?’
‘Because he is an enemy, but I can gave you a hint. His name begins with S.’
‘Wait a second. Giladacris had been using a capital S. for an enemy’s name, and Mattoon said Sor, and Bliklethan said Sorc. Give me another hint.’
‘Well after S O R C comes another O.’
‘Ok, is it Sorcon?’
‘That’s his boy’s name.’
‘Is it Sorco?’
‘Is it Sorcor?’
‘At this Thetil’s face changed to pale blue. ‘Y-y-y yes,’ gasped Thetil. ‘That’s the name of our enemies leader. Sorcor the Great he is to be called, but the mites and all the ones that on Fieth and Giladacris’s team do not call him that. We call him Sincatcher the One. If we have the Flower we could destroy him, and Giladacris would be the Highest King of the Upper World. Would you like to hear part of the Legand of Andia- Landano?’
‘Oh! yes. Please do tell me.’ And Thetil told him all about the sparrow which had caused the Flower to be lost.’
An essay completed by Joseph D. C., a student in the first year of our Great Books High School Program. by Joseph D. C.
Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War
The fact that we call the war between the Delian League (Athenian Empire) and Sparta the Peloponnesian War shows that Thucydides saw the war through a veil of preconception do to his loyalty to Athens. Thucydides, an Athenian statesman and general was convinced from the outset that the war would be the most important ever recorded in Greece and therefore made great efforts to establish the exact truth. Since he was exiled early in the war for failing to relieve a besieged Athenian territory, he had plenty of freedom to travel and to talk to both Spartans and Athenians.
Warfare in Hellenic Greece centered mainly around heavy infantrymen called hoplites. They were armed as spearmen, which are relatively easy to equip and maintain. And mainly they represented the middle class, who could afford the cost of the armaments. Almost all the famous men of ancient Greece, even the philosophers and playwrights, fought as a hoplite in some battle or another. Hoplites generally armed themselves immediately before battle, since the equipment was so heavy. Each man provided his own gear so it was fairly non-uniform, and often friendly troops would fail to recognize one another. A hoplite typically had a breastplate, a bronze helmet with cheek plates, as well greaves and other armor, plus a bowl-shaped wooden shield around 1 meter across. The primary weapon was a spear, around 2.7 meters in length; as this frequently broke upon charging, hoplites also carried a smaller 60 cm thrusting sword.
According to Thucydides, the cause of the war was the “fear of the growth of the power of Athens” throughout the middle of the 5th century BC. After an alliance of Greek states stopped an attempted invasion of the Greek peninsula by the Persian empire, several of those states formed the Delian league in 478 BC in order to create and fund a standing navy which could be used against the Persians in areas under their control. Athens, the largest member of the league and the major Greek naval power, took the leadership of the league and controlled its treasury. Over the following decades, Athens was able to convert the Delian league into an Athenian empire. This increase in Athenian military power allowed it to challenge the Lacedaemonians (commonly known as the Spartans), who, as leaders of the Peloponnesian League, had long been the sole major military power in Greece.
The immediate cause of the war comprised several specific actions of Athens that affected Sparta’s allies, notably Corinth. The Athenian navy intervened in a dispute between Corinth and Corcyra, preventing Corinth from invading Corcyra at the Battle of Sybota, and placed Potidaea, a Corinthian colony, under siege. The Athenian Empire also levied economic sanctions against Megara, an ally of Sparta. These sanctions, known as the Megarian decree, were largely ignored by Thucydides, but modern economic historians have noted that forbidding Megara to trade with the prosperous Athenian empire would have been disastrous for the Megarans. The decree was likely a greater catalyst for the war than Thucydides and other ancient authors realized, more so than simple fear of Athenian power.
As the war began, Sparta and Athens each took advantage of their military strengths. Sparta, with its much larger army, ravaged Attica the territory around Athens while the Athenian navy raided cities on the Peloponnesus. This strategy lasted for two years. Meanwhile Pericles death in 429 left the democracy prey to hostile factions and reckless leaders who pursued their own advantage. Most of the leaders were warmongers who insisted on vigorous prosecution of the conflict. Chief among these select few was Alcibiades, who was as irresponsible as he was brilliant. By 425 Sparta’s hopes for victory were bleak, and its leaders were ready to ask for peace. Slowly, however, the fortunes of war changed. Sparta, under its general Brasidas, scored significant victories at Chalcidice and Amphipolis. Both were serious losses for Athens. The Athenian leader Nicias persuaded the city to accept Sparta’s offer to cease hostilities in 421. And despite Thucydides’ prejudices he had the best insight into the period and the war itself.