Tag: School Holidays

What is Eid al-Fitr?

Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk each day. It is the first time Muslims can eat during daylight hours after fasting during Ramadan. The translation of “Eid al-Fitr” from Arabic sums up the holiday as it means “festival of breaking the fast.”

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, which is the tenth month in the Muslim (lunar) calendar. This means that the timing of Eid al-Fitr (and Ramadan) is different every year as it is based on the lunar cycle. It does not begin until the new moon is seen, which means it starts at different times for different Muslims around the world. However, some Muslims choose to celebrate Eid al-Fitr when the new moon first appears over Mecca instead of their own locations.

Muslims around the world perform communal prayer at daybreak on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, after cleansing themselves and donning new clothes. They then continue to celebrate for three days. A common greeting during Eid al-Fitr is “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.” This greeting is used to wish other Muslims well during Eid.

These celebrations during Eid al-Fitr vary from country to country but include visiting family and friends, giving presents, enjoying feasts, wearing new clothes, and visiting the graves of relatives. Through these celebrations, Muslims show their gratitude to Allah after reflecting and fasting during Ramadan.

This holiday is also a reminder for Muslims to be grateful for what they have as well as to help the less fortunate. This is known as zakat, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is a requirement that all Muslims with the means to do so donate to the less fortunate. Zakat significantly increases during Ramadan and continues as an important part of Eid al-Fitr.

The Open Window

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Open Window”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

“My aunt will be down presently, Mr. Nuttel,” said a very self-possessed young lady of fifteen; “in the meantime you must try and put up with me.”

Framton Nuttel endeavoured to say the correct something which should duly flatter the niece of the moment without unduly discounting the aunt that was to come. Privately he doubted more than ever whether these formal visits on a succession of total strangers would do much towards helping the nerve cure which he was supposed to be undergoing

“I know how it will be,” his sister had said when he was preparing to migrate to this rural retreat; “you will bury yourself down there and not speak to a living soul, and your nerves will be worse than ever from moping. I shall just give you letters of introduction to all the people I know there. Some of them, as far as I can remember, were quite nice.”

Framton wondered whether Mrs. Sappleton, the lady to whom he was presenting one of the letters of introduction, came into the nice division.

“Do you know many of the people around here?” asked the niece, when she judged that they had had sufficient silent communion.

“Hardly a soul,” said Framton. “My sister was staying here, at the rectory, you know, some four years ago, and she gave me letters of introduction to some of the people here.”

He made the last statement in a tone of distinct regret.

“Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?” pursued the self-possessed young lady.

“Only her name and address,” admitted the caller. He was wondering whether Mrs. Sappleton was in the married or widowed state. An undefinable something about the room seemed to suggest masculine habitation.

“Her great tragedy happened just three years ago,” said the child; “that would be since your sister’s time.”

“Her tragedy?” asked Framton; somehow in this restful country spot tragedies seemed out of place.

“You may wonder why we keep that window wide open on an October afternoon,” said the niece, indicating a large French window that opened on to a lawn.

“It is quite warm for the time of the year,” said Framton; “but has that window got anything to do with the tragedy?”

“Out through that window, three years ago to the day, her husband and her two young brothers went off for their day’s shooting. They never came back. In crossing the moor to their favourite snipe-shooting ground they were all three engulfed in a treacherous piece of bog. It had been that dreadful wet summer, you know, and places that were safe in other years gave way suddenly without warning. Their bodies were never recovered. That was the dreadful part of it.” Here the child’s voice lost its self-possessed note and became falteringly human. “Poor aunt always thinks that they will come back someday, they and the little brown spaniel that was lost with them, walk in at that window just as they used to do. That is why the window is kept open every evening till it is quite dusk. Poor dear aunt, she has often told me how they went out, her husband with his white waterproof coat over his arm, and Ronnie, her youngest brother, singing ‘Bertie, why do you bound?’ as he always did to tease her, because she said it got on her nerves. Do you know, sometimes on still, quiet evenings like this, I almost get a creepy feeling that they will all walk in through that window–“

She broke off with a little shudder. It was a relief to Framton when the aunt bustled into the room with a whirl of apologies for being late in making her appearance.

“I hope Vera has been amusing you?” she said.

“She has been very interesting,” said Framton.

“I hope you don’t mind the open window,” said Mrs. Sappleton briskly; “my husband and brothers will be home directly from shooting, and they always come in this way. They’ve been out for snipe in the marshes today, so they’ll make a fine mess over my poor carpets. So like you menfolk, isn’t it?”

She rattled on cheerfully about the shooting and the scarcity of birds, and the prospects for ducks in the winter. To Framton it was all purely horrible. He made a desperate but only partially successful effort to turn the talk on to a less ghastly topic, he was conscious that his hostess was giving him only a fragment of her attention, and her eyes were constantly straying past him to the open window and the lawn beyond. It was certainly an unfortunate coincidence that he should have paid his visit on this tragic anniversary.

“The doctors agree in ordering me complete rest, an absence of mental excitement, and avoidance of anything in the nature of violent physical exercise,” announced Framton, who laboured under the tolerably widespread delusion that total strangers and chance acquaintances are hungry for the least detail of one’s ailments and infirmities, their cause and cure. “On the matter of diet they are not so much in agreement,” he continued.

“No?” said Mrs. Sappleton, in a voice which only replaced a yawn at the last moment. Then she suddenly brightened into alert attention–but not to what Framton was saying.

“Here they are at last!” she cried. “Just in time for tea, and don’t they look as if they were muddy up to the eyes!”

Framton shivered slightly and turned towards the niece with a look intended to convey sympathetic comprehension. The child was staring out through the open window with a dazed horror in her eyes. In a chill shock of nameless fear Framton swung round in his seat and looked in the same direction.

In the deepening twilight three figures were walking across the lawn towards the window, they all carried guns under their arms, and one of them was additionally burdened with a white coat hung over his shoulders. A tired brown spaniel kept close at their heels. Noiselessly they neared the house, and then a hoarse young voice chanted out of the dusk: “I said, Bertie, why do you bound?”

Framton grabbed wildly at his stick and hat; the hall door, the gravel drive, and the front gate were dimly noted stages in his headlong retreat. A cyclist coming along the road had to run into the hedge to avoid an imminent collision.

“Here we are, my dear,” said the bearer of the white mackintosh, coming in through the window, “fairly muddy, but most of its dry. Who was that who bolted out as we came up?”

“A most extraordinary man, a Mr. Nuttel,” said Mrs. Sappleton; “could only talk about his illnesses, and dashed off without a word of goodby or apology when you arrived. One would think he had seen a ghost.”

“I expect it was the spaniel,” said the niece calmly; “he told me he had a horror of dogs. He was once hunted into a cemetery somewhere on the banks of the Ganges by a pack of pariah dogs, and had to spend the night in a newly dug grave with the creatures snarling and grinning and foaming just above him. Enough to make anyone lose their nerve.”

Romance at short notice was her speciality.


Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “Eveline”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

She sat at the window watching the evening invade the avenue. Her head was leaned against the window curtains and in her nostrils was the odour of dusty cretonne. She was tired.

Few people passed. The man out of the last house passed on his way home; she heard his footsteps clacking along the concrete pavement and afterwards crunching on the cinder path before the new red houses. One time there used to be a field there in which they used to play every evening with other people’s children. Then a man from Belfast bought the field and built houses in it — not like their little brown houses but bright brick houses with shining roofs. The children of the avenue used to play together in that field — the Divines, the Waters, the Dunns, little Keogh the cripple, she and her brothers and sisters. Ernest, however, never played: he was too grown up. Her father used to hunt them out of the field with his blackthorn stick; but usually little Keogh used to keep nix and call out when he saw her father coming. Still they seemed to have been rather happy then. Her father was not so bad then; and besides, her mother was alive. That was a long time ago; she and her brothers and sisters were all grown up and her mother was dead. Tizzie Dunn was dead, too, and the Waters had gone back to England. Everything changes. Now she was going to go away like the others, to leave her home.

Home! She looked round the room, reviewing all its familiar objects which she had dusted once a week for so many years, wondering where on earth all the dust came from. Perhaps she would never see again those familiar objects from which she had never dreamed of being divided. And yet during all those years she had never found out the name of the priest whose yellowing photograph hung on the wall above the broken harmonium beside the coloured print of the promises made to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque. He had been a school friend of her father. Whenever he showed the photograph to a visitor her father used to pass it with a casual word:

“He is in Melbourne now.”

She had consented to go away, to leave her home. Was that wise? She tried to weigh each side of the question. In her home anyway she had shelter and food; she had those whom she had known all her life about her. Of course she had to work hard, both in the house and at business. What would they say of her in the Stores when they found out that she had run away with a fellow? Say she was a fool, perhaps; and her place would be filled up by advertisement. Miss Gavan would be glad. She had always had an edge on her, especially whenever there were people listening.

“Miss Hill, don’t you see these ladies are waiting?”

“Look lively, Miss Hill, please.”

She would not cry many tears when leaving the Stores.

But in her new home, in a distant unknown country, it would not be like that. Then she would be married — she, Eveline. People would treat her with respect then. She would not be treated as her mother had been. Even now, though she was over nineteen, she sometimes felt herself in danger of her father’s violence. She knew it was that that had given her the palpitations. When they were growing up he had never gone for her like he used to go for Harry and Ernest, because she was a girl but latterly he had begun to threaten her and say what he would do to her only for her dead mother’s sake. And now she had nobody to protect her. Ernest was dead and Harry, who was in the church decorating business, was nearly always down somewhere in the country. Besides, the invariable squabble for money on Saturday nights had begun to weary her unspeakably. She always gave her entire wages — seven shillings — and Harry always sent up what he could but the trouble was to get any money from her father. He said she used to squander the money, that she had no head, that he wasn’t going to give her his hard-earned money to throw about the streets, and much more, for he was usually fairly bad on Saturday night. In the end he would give her the money and ask her if she had any intention of buying Sunday’s dinner. Then she had to rush out as quickly as she could and do her marketing, holding her black leather purse tightly in her hand as she elbowed her way through the crowds and returning home late under her load of provisions. She had worked hard to keep the house together and to see that the two young children who had been left to her charge went to school regularly and got their meals regularly. It was hard work — a hard life — but now that she was about to leave it she did not find it a wholly undesirable life.

She was about to explore another life with Frank. Frank was very kind, manly, and open-hearted. She was to go away with him by the night-boat to be his wife and to live with him in Buenos Ayres where he had a home waiting for her. How well she remembered the first time she had seen him; he was lodging in a house on the main road where she used to visit. It seemed like a few weeks ago. He was standing at the gate, his peaked cap pushed back on his head and his hair tumbled forward over a face of bronze. Then they came to know each other. He used to meet her outside the Stores every evening and see her home. He took her to see The Bohemian Girl and she felt elated as she sat in an unaccustomed part of the theatre with him. He was awfully fond of music and sang a little. People knew that they were courting and, when he sang about the class that loves a sailor, she always felt pleasantly confused. He used to call her Poppens out of fun. First of all it had been an excitement for her to have a fellow and then she had begun to like him. He had tales of distant countries. He had started as a deck boy at a pound a month on a ship of the Allan Line going out to Canada. He told her the names of the ships he had been on and the names of the different services. He had sailed through the Straits of Magellan and he told her stories of the terrible Patagonians. He had fallen on his feet in Buenos Ayres, he said, and had come over to the old country just for a holiday. Of course, her father had found out about the affair and had forbidden her to have anything to say to him.

“I know these sailor chaps,” he said.

One day he had a quarrel with Frank and after that she had to meet her lover secretly.

The evening deepened in the avenue. The white of two letters in her lap grew indistinct. One was to Harry; the other was to her father. Ernest had been her favourite but she liked Harry too. Her father was becoming old lately, she noticed; he would miss her. Sometimes he could be very nice. Not long before, when she had been laid up for a day, he had read her out a ghost story and made toast for her at the fire. Another day, when their mother was alive, they had all gone for a picnic to the Hill of Howth. She remembered her father putting on her mothers bonnet to make the children laugh.

Her time was running out but she continued to sit by the window, leaning her head against the window curtain, inhaling the odour of dusty cretonne. Down far in the avenue she could hear a street organ playing. She knew the strangest thing that would come that very night to remind her of the promise to her mother, her promise to keep the home together as long as she could. She remembered the last night of her mother’s illness; she was again in the close dark room at the other side of the hall and outside she heard a melancholy air of Italy. The organ-player had been ordered to go away and given sixpence. She remembered her father strutting back into the sickroom saying:

“Damned Italians! coming over here!”

As she mused, the pitiful vision of her mother’s life laid its spell on the very quick of her being — that life of commonplace sacrifices closing in final craziness. She trembled as she heard again her mother’s voice saying constantly with foolish insistence:

“Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!”

She stood up in a sudden impulse of terror. Escape! She must escape! Frank would save her. He would give her life, perhaps love, too. But she wanted to live. Why should she be unhappy? She had a right to happiness. Frank would take her in his arms, fold her in his arms. He would save her.

She stood among the swaying crowd in the station at the North Wall. He held her hand and she knew that he was speaking to her, saying something about the passage over and over again. The station was full of soldiers with brown baggage. Through the wide doors of the sheds she caught a glimpse of the black mass of the boat, lying beside the quay wall, with illuminated portholes. She answered nothing. She felt her cheek pale and cold and, out of a maze of distress, she prayed to God to direct her, to show her what was her duty. The boat blew a long mournful whistle into the mist. If she went, tomorrow she would be on the sea with Frank, steaming towards Buenos Ayres. Their passage had been booked. Could she still draw back after all he had done for her? Her distress awoke a nausea in her body and she kept moving her lips in silent fervent prayer.

A bell clanged upon her heart. She felt him seize her hand:


All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them: he would drown her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing.


No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent a cry of anguish.

“Eveline! Evvy!”

He rushed beyond the barrier and called to her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition.

The Man In The Moon

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Man In The Moon”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

The Man in the Moon came tumbling down,

And enquired the way to Norwich;

He went by the south and burned his mouth

With eating cold pease porridge!

What! Have you ever heard the story of the Man in the Moon? Then I must surely tell it, for it is very amusing, and there is not a word of truth in it.

The Man in the Moon was rather lonesome, and often he peeked over the edge of the moon and looked down upon the earth and envied all the people who lived together, for he thought it must be vastly more pleasant to have companions to talk to than to be shut up in a big planet all by himself, where he had to whistle to keep himself company.

One day he looked down and saw an alderman sailing up through the air towards him. This alderman was being translated (instead of being transported, owing to a misprint in the law) and as he came near the Man in the Moon called to him and said,

“How is everything down on the earth?”

“Everything is lovely,” replied the alderman, “and I would n’t leave it if I was not obliged to.”

“What ‘s a good place to visit down there?” enquired the Man in the Moon.

“Oh, Norwich is a mighty fine place,” returned the alderman, “and it ‘s famous for its pease porridge;” and then he sailed out of sight and left the Man in the Moon to reflect upon what he had said.

The words of the alderman made him more anxious than ever to visit the earth, and so he walked thoughtfully home, and put a few lumps of ice in the stove to keep him warm, and sat down to think how he should manage the trip.

You see, everything went by contraries in the Moon, and when the Man wished to keep warm he knocked off a few chunks of ice and put them in his stove; and he cooled his drinking water by throwing red-hot coals of fire into the pitcher. Likewise, when he became chilly he took off his hat and coat, and even his shoes, and so became warm; and in the hot days of summer he put on his overcoat to cool off.

All of which seems very queer to you, no doubt; but it was n’t at all queer to the Man in the Moon, for he was accustomed to it.

Well, he sat by his ice-cool fire and thought about his journey to the earth, and finally he decided the only way he could get there was to slide down a moonbeam.

So he left the house and locked the door and put the key in his pocket, for he was uncertain how long he should be gone; and then he went to the edge of the moon and began to search for a good strong moonbeam.

At last he found one that seemed rather substantial and reached right down to a pleasant-looking spot on the earth; and so he swung himself over the edge of the moon, and put both arms tight around the moonbeam and started to slide down. But he found it rather slippery, and in spite of all his efforts to hold on he found himself going faster and faster, so that just before he reached the earth he lost his hold and came tumbling down head over heels and fell plump into a river.

The cool water nearly scalded him before he could swim out, but fortunately he was near the bank and he quickly scrambled upon the land and sat down to catch his breath.

By that time it was morning, and as the sun rose its hot rays cooled him off somewhat, so that he began looking curiously at all the strange sights and wondering where on earth he was.

By and by a farmer came along the road by the river with a team of horses drawing a load of hay, and the horses looked so odd to the Man in the Moon that at first he was greatly frightened, never before having seen horses except from his home in the moon, from whence they looked a good deal smaller. But he plucked up courage and said to the farmer,

“Can you tell me the way to Norwich, sir?”

“Norwich?” repeated the farmer musingly; “I do n’t know exactly where it is, sir, but it ‘s somewhere away to the south.”

“Thank you,” said the Man in the Moon.–But stop! I must not call him the Man in the Moon any longer, for of course he was now out of the moon; so I ‘ll simply call him the Man, and you ‘ll know by which man I mean.

Well, the Man in the–I mean the Man (but I nearly forgot what I have just said)–the Man turned to the south and began walking briskly along the road, for he had made up his mind to do as the alderman had advised and travel to Norwich, that he might eat some of the famous pease porridge that was made there. And finally, after a long and tiresome journey, he reached the town and stopped at one of the first houses he came to, for by this time he was very hungry indeed.

A good-looking woman answered his knock at the door, and he asked politely,

“Is this the town of Norwich, madam?”

“Surely this is the town of Norwich,” returned the woman.

“I came here to see if I could get some pease porridge,” continued the Man, “for I hear you make I the nicest porridge in the world in this town.”

“That we do, sir,” answered the woman, “and if you ‘ll step inside I ‘ll give you a bowl, for I have plenty in the house that is newly made.”

So he thanked her and entered the house, and she asked,

“Will you have it hot or cold, sir?”

“Oh, cold, by all means,” replied the Man, “for I detest anything hot to eat.”

She soon brought him a bowl of cold pease porridge, and the Man was so hungry that he took a big spoonful at once.

But no sooner had he put it into his mouth than he uttered a great yell, and began dancing frantically about the room, for of course the porridge that was cold to earth folk was hot to him, and the big spoonful of cold pease porridge had burned his mouth to a blister!

“What ‘s the matter?” asked the woman.

“Matter!” screamed the Man; “why, your porridge is so hot it has burned me.”

“Fiddlesticks!” She replied, “the porridge is quite cold.”

“Try it yourself!” he cried. So she tried it and found it very cold and pleasant. But the Man was so astonished to see her eat the porridge that had blistered his own mouth that he became frightened and ran out of the house and down the street as fast as he could go.

The policeman on the first corner saw him running, and promptly arrested him, and he was marched off to the magistrate for trial.

“What is your name?” asked the magistrate.

“I have n’t any,” replied the Man; for of course as he was the only Man on the Moon it was n’t necessary he should have a name.

“Come, come, no nonsense!” said the magistrate, “you must have some name. Who are you?”

“Why, I ‘m the Man in the Moon.”

“That ‘s rubbish!” said the magistrate, eyeing the prisoner severely, “you may be a man, but you ‘re not in the moon-you ‘re in Norwich.”

“That is true,” answered the Man, who was quite bewildered by this idea.

“And of course you must be called something,” continued the magistrate.

“Well, then,” said the prisoner, “if I ‘m not the Man in the Moon I must be the Man out of the Moon; so call me that.”

“Very good,” replied the judge; “now, then, where did you come from?”

“The moon.”

“Oh, you did, eh? How did you get here?”

“I slid down a moonbeam.”

“Indeed! Well, what were you running for?”

“A woman gave me some cold pease porridge, and it burned my mouth.”

The magistrate looked at him a moment in surprise, and then he said,

“This person is evidently crazy; so take him to the lunatic asylum and keep him there.”

This would surely have been the fate of the Man had there not been present an old astronomer who had often looked at the moon through his telescope, and so had discovered that what was hot on earth was cold in the moon, and what was cold here was hot there; so he began to think the Man had told the truth. Therefore he begged the magistrate to wait a few minutes while he looked through his telescope to see if the Man in the Moon was there. So, as it was now night, he fetched his telescope and looked at the Moon,–and found there was no man in it at all!

“It seems to be true,” said the astronomer, “that the Man has got out of the Moon somehow or other. Let me look at your mouth, sir, and see if it is really burned.”

Then the Man opened his mouth, and everyone saw plainly it was burned to a blister! Thereupon the magistrate begged his pardon for doubting his word, and asked him what he would like to do next.

“I ‘d like to get back to the Moon,” said the Man, “for I do n’t like this earth of yours at all. The nights are too hot.”

“Why, it ‘s quite cool this evening!” said the magistrate.

“I ‘ll tell you what we can do,” remarked the astronomer; “there’s a big balloon in town which belongs to the circus that came here last summer, and was pawned for a board bill. We can inflate this balloon and send the Man out of the Moon home in it.”

“That’s a good idea,” replied the judge. So the balloon was brought and inflated, and the Man got into the basket and gave the word to let go, and then the balloon mounted up into the sky in the direction of the moon.

The good people of Norwich stood on the earth and tipped back their heads, and watched the balloon go higher and higher, until finally the Man reached out and caught hold of the edge of the moon, and behold! the next minute he was the Man in the Moon again!

After this adventure he was well content to stay at home; and I ‘ve no doubt if you look through a telescope you will see him there to this day.

The Doll’s House

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Doll’s House”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

WHEN dear old Mrs. Hay went back to town after staying with the Burnells she sent the children a doll’s house. It was so big that the carter and Pat carried it into the courtyard, and there it stayed, propped up on two wooden boxes beside the feed-room door. No harm could come to it; it was summer. And perhaps the smell of paint would have gone off by the time it had to be taken in. For, really, the smell of paint coming from that doll’s house (‘ Sweet of old Mrs. Hay, of course ; most sweet and generous ! ‘)—but the smell of paint was quite enough to make anyone seriously ill, in Aunt Beryl’s opinion. Even before the sacking was taken off. And when it was…

There stood the Doll’s house, a dark, oily, spinach green, picked out with bright yellow. Its two solid little chimneys, glued on to the roof, were painted red and white, and the door, gleaming with yellow varnish, was like a little slab of toffee. Four windows, real windows, were divided into panes by a broad streak of green. There was actually a tiny porch, too, painted yellow, with big lumps of congealed paint hanging along the edge.

But a perfect, perfect little house! Who could possibly mind the smell. It was part of the joy, part of the newness.

” Open it quickly, someone ! “

The hook at the side was stuck fast. Pat prized it open with his penknife, and the whole house front swung back, and—there you were, gazing at one and the same moment into the drawing-room and dining-room, the kitchen and two bedrooms. That is the way for a house to open ! Why don’t all houses open like that ? How much more exciting than peering through the slit of a door into a mean little hall with a hatstand and two umbrellas! That is—isn’t it ?—what you long to know about a house when you put your hand on the knocker. Perhaps it is the way God opens houses at the dead of night when He is taking a quiet turn with an angel…

” O-oh! ” The Burnell children sounded as though they were in despair. It was too marvellous ; it was too much for them. They had never seen anything like it in their lives. All the rooms were papered. There were pictures on the walls, painted on the paper, with gold frames complete. Red carpet covered all the floors except the kitchen ; red plush chairs in the drawing-room, green in the dining-room; tables, beds with real bedclothes, a cradle, a stove, a dresser with tiny plates and one big jug. But what Kezia liked more than anything, what she liked frightfully”, was the lamp. It stood in the middle of the dining-room table, an exquisite little amber lamp with a white globe. It was even filled all ready for lighting, though, of course, you couldn’t light it. But there was something inside that looked like oil and moved when you shook it.

The father and mother dolls, who sprawled very stiff as though they had fainted in the drawing-room, and their two little children asleep upstairs, were really too big for the doll’s house. They didn’t look as though they belonged. But the lamp was perfect. It seemed to smile at Kezia, to say, ” I live here.” The lamp was real.

The Burnell children could hardly walk to school fast enough the next morning. They burned to tell everybody, to describe, to—well —to boast about their doll’s house before the school-bell rang.

” I’m to tell,” said Isabel, ” because I’m the eldest. And you two can join in after. But I’m to tell you first.”

There was nothing to answer. Isabel was bossy, but she was always right, and Lottie and Kezia knew too well the powers that went with being eldest. They brushed through the thick buttercups at the road edge and said nothing.

” And I’m to choose who’s to come and see it first. Mother said I might.”

For it had been arranged that while the doll’s house stood in the courtyard they might ask the girls at school, two at a time, to come and look. Not to stay for tea, of course, or to come traipsing through the house. But just to stand quietly in the courtyard while Isabel pointed out the beauties, and Lottie and Kezia looked pleased…

But hurry as they might, by the time they had reached the tarred palings of the boys’ playground the bell had begun to jangle. They only just had time to whip off their hats and fall into line before the roll was called. Never mind. Isabel tried to make up for it by looking very important and mysterious and by whispering behind her hand to the girls near her, ” Got something to tell you at playtime.”

Playtime came and Isabel was surrounded. The girls of her class nearly fought to put their arms round her, to walk away with her, to beam flatteringly, to be her special friend. She held quite a court under the huge pine trees at the side of the playground. Nudging, giggling together, the little girls pressed up close. And the only two who stayed outside the ring were the two who were always outside, the little Kelveys. They knew better than to come anywhere near the Burnells.

For the fact was, the school the Burnell children went to was not at all the kind of place their parents would have chosen if there had been any choice. But there was none. It was the only school for miles. And the consequence was all the children of the neighbourhood, the Judge’s little girls, the doctor’s daughters, the store-keeper’s children, the milkman’s, were forced to mix together. Not to speak of there being an equal number of rude, rough little boys as well. But the line had to be drawn somewhere. It was drawn at the Kelveys. Many of the children, including the Burnells, were not even allowed to speak to them. They walked past the Kelveys with their heads in the air, and as they set the fashion in all matters of behaviour, the Kelveys were shunned by everybody. Even the teacher had a special voice for them, and a special smile for the other children when Lil Kelvey came up to her desk with a bunch of dreadfully common-looking flowers.

They were the daughters of a spry, hardworking little washerwoman, who went about from house to house by the day. This was awful enough. But where was Mr. Kelvey ? Nobody knew for certain. But everybody said he was in prison. So they were the daughters of a washerwoman and a gaolbird. Very nice company for other people’s children! And they looked at it. Why Mrs. Kelvey made them so conspicuous was hard to understand. The truth was they were dressed in ” bits ” given to her by the people for whom she worked. Lil, for instance, who was a stout, plain child, with big freckles, came to school in a dress made from a green art-serge table-cloth of the Burnells’, with red plush sleeves from the Logans’ curtains. Her hat, perched on top of her high forehead, was a grown-up woman’s hat, once the property of Miss Lecky, the postmistress. It was turned up at the back and trimmed with a large scarlet quill. What a little guy she looked ! It was impossible not to laugh. And her little sister, our Else, wore a long white dress, rather like a nightgown, and a pair of little boy’s boots. But whatever our Else wore she would have looked strange. She was a tiny wishbone of a child, with cropped hair and enormous solemn eyes—a little white owl. Nobody had ever seen her smile ; she scarcely ever spoke. She went through life holding on to Lil, with a piece of Lil’s skirt screwed up in her hand. Where Lil went, our Else followed. In the playground, on the road going to and from school, there was Lil marching in front and our Else holding on behind. Only when she wanted anything, or when she was out of breath, our Else gave Lil a tug, a twitch, and Lil stopped and turned round. The Kelveys never failed to understand each other.

Now they hovered at the edge ; you couldn’t stop them listening. When the little girls turned round and sneered, Lil, as usual, gave her silly, shamefaced smile, but our Else only looked.

And Isabel’s voice, so very proud, went on telling. The carpet made a great sensation, but so did the beds with real bedclothes, and the stove with an oven door.

When she finished Kezia broke in. ” You’ve forgotten the lamp, Isabel.”

” Oh, yes,” said Isabel, ” and there’s a teeny little lamp, all made of yellow glass, with a white globe that stands on the dining-room table. You couldn’t tell it from a real one.”

” The lamp’s best of all,” cried Kezia. She thought Isabel wasn’t making half enough of the little lamp. But nobody paid any attention. Isabel was choosing the two who were to come back with them that afternoon and see it. She chose Emmie Cole and Lena Logan. But when the others knew they were all to have a chance, they couldn’t be nice enough to Isabel. One by one they put their arms round Isabel’s waist and walked her off. They had something to whisper to her, a secret. ” Isabel’s my friend.”

Only the little Kelveys moved away, forgotten ; there was nothing more for them to hear.

Days passed, and as more children saw the doll’s house, the fame of it spread. It became the one subject, the rage. The one question was, ” Have you seen Burnells’ doll’s house ? Oh, ain’t it lovely ! “ ” Haven’t you seen it ? Oh, I say ! “

Even the dinner hour was given up talking about it. The little girls sat under the pines eating their thick mutton sandwiches and big slabs of johnny cake spread with butter. While always, as near as they could get, sat the Kelveys, our Else holding on to Lil, listening too, while they chewed their jam sandwiches out of a newspaper soaked with large red blobs. ” Mother,” said Kezia, ” can’t I ask the Kelveys just once ? “

” Certainly not, Kezia.”

” But why not ? “

” Run away, Kezia ; you know quite well why not.”

At last everybody had seen it except them. On that day the subject was rather flagged. It was dinner hour. The children stood together under the pine trees, and suddenly, as they looked at the Kelveys eating out of their paper, always by themselves, always listening, they wanted to be horrid to them. Emmie Cole started the whisper.

” Lil Kelvey is going to be a servant when she grows up.”

” O-oh, how awful! ” said Isabel Burnell, and she made eyes at Emmie.

Emmie swallowed in a very meaningful way and nodded to Isabel as she’d seen her mother do on those occasions.

” It’s true—it’s true—it’s true,” she said.

Then Lena Logan’s little eyes snapped. ” Shall I ask her ? ” she whispered.

” Bet you don’t,” said Jessie May.

” Pooh, I’m not frightened,” said Lena. Suddenly she gave a little squeal and danced in front of the other girls. ” Watch! Watch me ! Watch me now! ” said Lena. And sliding, gliding, dragging one foot, giggling behind her hand, Lena went over to the Kelveys.

Lil looked up from her dinner. She wrapped the rest quickly away. Our Else stopped chewing. What was coming now ?

” Is it true you’re going to be a servant when you grow up, Lil Kelvey ? ” shrilled Lena.

Dead silence. But instead of answering, Lil only gave her silly, shamefaced smile. She didn’t seem to mind the question at all. What a sale for Lena ! The girls began to titter.

Lena couldn’t stand that. She put her hands on her hips; she shot forward. ” Yah, yer father’s in prison ! ” she hissed, spitefully.

This was such a marvellous thing to have said that the little girls rushed away in a body, deeply, deeply excited, wild with joy. Someone found a long rope, and they began skipping. And never did they skip so high, run in and out so fast, or do such daring things as on that morning.

In the afternoon Pat called for the Burnell children with the buggy and they drove home. There were visitors. Isabel and Lottie, who liked visitors, went upstairs to change their pinafores. But Kezia thieved out at the back. Nobody was about; she began to swing on the big white gates of the courtyard. Presently, looking along the road, she saw two little dots. They grew bigger, they were coming towards her. Now she could see that one was in front and one close behind. Now she could see that they were the Kelveys. Kezia stopped swinging. She slipped off the gate as if she was going to run away. Then she hesitated. The Kelveys came nearer, and beside them walked their shadows, very long, stretching right across the road with their heads in the buttercups. Kezia clambered back on the gate ; she had made up her mind ; she swung out.

” Hullo,” she said to the passing Kelveys.

They were so astounded that they stopped. Lil gave her silly smile. Our Else started.

” You can come and see our doll’s house if you want to,” said Kezia, and she dragged one toe on the ground. But at that Lil turned red and shook her head quickly.

” Why not ? ” asked Kezia.

Lil gasped, then she said, ” Your ma told our ma you weren’t to speak to us.”

” Oh, well,” said Kezia. She didn’t know what to reply. ” It doesn’t matter. You can come and see our doll’s house all the same. Come on. Nobody’s looking.”

But Lil shook her head still harder.

” Don’t you want to ? ” asked Kezia.

Suddenly there was a twitch, a tug at Lil’s skirt. She turned around. Our Else was looking at her with big, imploring eyes ; she was frowning ; she wanted to go. For a moment Lil looked at our Else very doubtfully. But then our Else twitched her skirt again. She started forward. Kezia led the way. Like two little stray cats they followed across the courtyard to where the doll’s house stood.

” There it is,” said Kezia.

There was a pause. Lil breathed loudly, almost snorted ; our Else was still as stone.

” I’ll open it for you,” said Kezia kindly. She undid the hook and they looked inside.

” There’s the drawing-room and the dining-room, and that’s the——”

” Kezia ! “

Oh, what a start they gave !


It was Aunt Beryl’s voice. They turned around. At the back door stood Aunt Beryl, staring as if she couldn’t believe what she saw.

” How dare you ask the little Kelveys into the courtyard ? ” said her cold, furious voice. ” You know as well as I do, you’re not allowed to talk to them. Run away, children, run away at once. And don’t come back again,” said Aunt Beryl. And she stepped into the yard and shooed them out as if they were chickens.

” Off you go immediately! ” she called, cold and proud.

They did not need telling twice. Burning with shame, shrinking together, Lil huddling along like her mother, our Else dazed, somehow they crossed the big courtyard and squeezed through the white gate.

” Wicked, disobedient little girl! ” said Aunt Beryl bitterly to Kezia, and she slammed the doll’s house too.

The afternoon had been awful. A letter had come from Willie Brent, a terrifying, threatening letter, saying if she did not meet him that evening in Pulman’s Bush, he’d come to the front door and ask the reason why! But now that she had frightened those little rats of Kelveys and given Kezia a good scolding, her heart felt lighter. That ghastly pressure was gone. She went back to the house humming.

When the Kelveys were well out of sight of Burnells’, they sat down to rest on a big red drainpipe by the side of the road. Lil’s cheeks were still burning ; she took off the hat with the quill and held it on her knee. Dreamily they looked over the hay paddocks, past the creek, to the group of wattles where Logan’s cows stood waiting to be milked. What were their thoughts? Presently our Else nudged up close to her sister. But now she had forgotten the cross lady. She put out a finger and stroked her sister’s quill; she smiled her rare smile.

” I saw the little lamp,” she said, softly.

Then both were silent once more.

The Strange but True Story Behind Valentine’s Day

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Strange but True Story Behind Valentine’s Day”. While this is not your conventional story about Valentine’s Day that’s filled with romance, it’s a fascinating take on a tradition that is widely celebrated on February 14 in many countries around the world. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

Strange but true…

You are looking at the skull of an ancient Roman Martyr named Valentine which resides in Rome, in the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Whether or not it’s the skull of the martyr who inspired Valentine’s day is a matter of some debate, to put it mildly. Bound up in this debate is the unexpected history of one of the world’s most curious holidays.


Let’s start from the beginning…who was Saint Valentine?

The better question is ‘who were?’ Depending on who’s counting, there are between 12 and 14 Saint Valentines, including a Spanish hermit and a woman – Valentina. Turns out, it was a pretty common name during Late Antiquity. As far as anyone can tell, the Saint Valentine of Valentine’s Day was one of two guys preaching the good word in Rome in the third century. One of these two was martyred on February 14th 269, thus giving us the date for his eponymous day.


So what did this guy have to do with love and greeting cards, and overpriced restaurants?

Absolutely nothing. After he was killed, Valentine’s remains sat in the Catacombs of San Valentino for a while before moving to Santa Maria in Cosmedin (or the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni, if you support the claim of the other Valentine) where they were visited by pilgrims for many years. They probably would have remained venerated, but somewhat anonymous relics for the patron saint of beekeepers and people suffering from the plague had it not been for Chaucer.


What does an English mediaeval poet have to do with a Roman martyr?

Geoffrey Chaucer has nothing to do with Roman martyrs but he has a lot to do with English literature and that’s how he created a connection between Saint Valentine and love celebrations. The first written connection between love and Valentine’s Day appears in his poem, Parlement of Foules, written in the late 14th century. He appears to have simply invented the correlation and chalked it up to poetic licence, though it’s also possible that he was drawing from older courtly traditions.


So Valentine’s Day is basically a sham invented by a poet in order to make his lines rhyme?

Not exactly. Shortly after Chaucer mentioned love on Valentine’s Day, real-life lovers began to send each other love poems on February 14th. (it’s possible that these predate Chaucer, but we simply don’t know.) To put that another way, people have been writing valentines to their loved ones for over 500 years, so even if there’s no direct connection to a guy who was murdered horribly by ancient Roman pagans, it’s still part of a serious legacy of love.


That’s actually pretty heartwarming. I thought it was just another Hallmark Holiday…

Not so fast. Modern Valentine’s day is very much a product of the various industries that benefit from it – namely, stationery, chocolate, flowers, and jewellery. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on these items, even in countries where Western holidays are frowned upon or outlawed have seen an upsurge in Valentine’s Day gifts in recent years. In Saudi Arabia, where the holiday is illegal, there is a thriving black market for red roses and heart-shaped chocolates in February.


Interestingly in Japan, possibly due to a translation error in an early chocolate ad (the holiday was imported from the United States after the Second World War), women are expected to give chocolate to lovers, boyfriends, and even male co-workers. However, Japan also celebrates a gift-giving tradition on March 14th where they are expected to give white chocolates of equal or greater value to anyone who gave them chocolate in February.


All of this for an old skull sitting in a church in Rome?

Not just any old skull. Relics comprised the backbone of Rome’s original tourism industry which sprung up during the Middle Ages and was based around Christian Pilgrims who came to visit the City’s many churches and holy sites. Relics, in particular, became huge tourist draws because of the miraculous powers they were thought to contain – some of which could be transferred to the faithful who came in contact with them. In our less credulous time, relics have lost some of their ability to draw visitors but they remain impressive, and sometimes macabre additions to many of the churches in Rome.

The Student

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Student”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3


At first the weather was fine and still. The thrushes were calling, and in the swamps close by something alive droned pitifully with a sound like blowing into an empty bottle. A snipe flew by, and the shot aimed at it rang out with a gay, resounding note in the spring air. But when it began to get dark in the forest a cold, penetrating wind blew inappropriately from the east, and everything sank into silence. Needles of ice stretched across the pools, and it felt cheerless, remote, and lonely in the forest. There was a whiff of winter.


Ivan Velikopolsky, the son of a sacristan, and a student of the clerical academy, returning home from shooting, kept walking on the path by the water-logged meadows. His fingers were numb and his face was burning with the wind. It seemed to him that the cold that had suddenly come on had destroyed the order and harmony of things, that nature itself felt ill at ease, and that was why the evening darkness was falling more rapidly than usual. All around it was deserted and peculiarly gloomy. The only light was one gleaming in the widows’ gardens near the river; the village, over three miles away, and everything in the distance all round was plunged in the cold evening mist. The student remembered that, as he had left the house, his mother was sitting barefoot on the floor in the entryway, cleaning the samovar, while his father lay on the stove coughing; as it was Good Friday nothing had been cooked, and the student was terribly hungry. And now, shrinking from the cold, he thought that just such a wind had blown in the days of Rurik and in the time of Ivan the Terrible and Peter, and in their time there had been just the same desperate poverty and hunger, the same thatched roofs with holes in them, ignorance, misery, the same desolation around, the same darkness, the same feeling of oppression — all these had existed, did exist, and would exist, and the lapse of a thousand years would make life no better. And he did not want to go home.


The gardens were called the widows’ because they were kept by two widows, mother and daughter. A campfire was burning brightly with a crackling sound, throwing out light far around on the ploughed earth. The widow Vasilisa, a tall, fat old woman in a man’s coat, was standing by and looking thoughtfully into the fire; her daughter Lukerya, a little pockmarked woman with a stupid-looking face, was sitting on the ground, washing a cauldron and spoons. Apparently they had just had supper. There was a sound of men’s voices; it was the labourers watering their horses at the river.

“Here you have winter back again,” said the student, going up to the campfire. “Good evening.”

Vasilisa started, but at once recognized him and smiled cordially.

“I did not know you; God bless you,” she said. “You’ll be rich.”


They talked. Vasilisa, a woman of experience who had been in service with the gentry, first as a wet-nurse, afterwards as a children’s nurse expressed herself with refinement, and a soft, sedate smile never left her face; her daughter Lukerya, a village peasant woman who had been beaten by her husband, simply screwed up her eyes at the student and said nothing, and she had a strange expression like that of a deaf-mute.


“At just such a fire the Apostle Peter warmed himself,” said the student, stretching out his hands to the fire, “so it must have been cold then, too. Ah, what a terrible night it must have been, granny! An utterly dismal long night!”

He looked round at the darkness, shook his head abruptly and asked:

“No doubt you have heard the reading of the Twelve Apostles?”

“Yes, I have,” answered Vasilisa.


“If you remember, at the Last Supper Peter said to Jesus, ‘I am ready to go with Thee into darkness and unto death.’ And our Lord answered him thus: ‘I say unto thee, Peter, before the cock croweth thou wilt have denied Me thrice.’ After the supper Jesus went through the agony of death in the garden and prayed, and poor Peter was weary in spirit and faint, his eyelids were heavy and he could not struggle against sleep. He fell asleep. Then you heard how Judas the same night kissed Jesus and betrayed Him to His tormentors. They took Him bound to the high priest and beat Him, while Peter, exhausted, worn out with misery and alarm, hardly awake, you know, feeling that something awful was just going to happen on earth, followed behind. . . . He loved Jesus passionately, intensely, and now he saw from far off how He was beaten. . . . “

Lukerya left the spoons and fixed an immovable stare upon the student.


“They came to the high priest’s,” he went on; “they began to question Jesus, and meantime the labourers made a fire in the yard as it was cold, and warmed themselves. Peter, too, stood with them near the fire and warmed himself as I am doing. A woman, seeing him, said: ‘He was with Jesus, too’ — that is as much as to say that he, too, should be taken to be questioned. And all the labourers that were standing near the fire must have looked sourly and suspiciously at him, because he was confused and said: ‘I don’t know Him.’ A little while after again someone recognized him as one of Jesus’ disciples and said: ‘Thou, too, art one of them,’ but again he denied it. And for the third time someone turned to him: ‘Why, did I not see thee with Him in the garden today?’ For the third time he denied it. And immediately after that time the cock crowed, and Peter, looking from afar off at Jesus, remembered the words He had said to him in the evening. . . . He remembered, he came to himself, went out of the yard and wept bitterly — bitterly. In the Gospel it is written: ‘He went out and wept bitterly.’ I imagine it: the still, still, dark, dark garden, and in the stillness, faintly audible, smothered sobbing.. . . .”


The student sighed and sank into thought. Still smiling, Vasilisa suddenly gave a gulp, big tears flowed freely down her cheeks, and she screened her face from the fire with her sleeve as though ashamed of her tears, and Lukerya, staring immovably at the student, flushed crimson, and her expression became strained and heavy like that of someone enduring intense pain.


The labourers came back from the river, and one of them riding a horse was quite near, and the light from the fire quivered upon him. The student said good-night to the widows and went on. And again the darkness was about him and his fingers began to be numb. A cruel wind was blowing, winter really had come back and it did not feel as though Easter would be the day after tomorrow.


Now the student was thinking about Vasilisa: since she had shed tears all that had happened to Peter the night before the Crucifixion must have some relation to her. . . .


He looked round. The solitary light was still gleaming in the darkness and no figures could be seen near it now. The student thought again that if Vasilisa had shed tears, and her daughter had been troubled, it was evident that what he had just been telling them about, which had happened nineteen centuries ago, had a relation to the present — to both women, to the desolate village, to himself, to all people. The old woman had wept, not because he could tell the story touchingly, but because Peter was near to her, because her whole being was interested in what was passing in Peter’s soul.


And joy suddenly stirred in his soul, and he even stopped for a minute to take a breath. “The past,” he thought, “is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.” And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.


When he crossed the river by the ferryboat and afterwards, mounting the hill, looked at his village and towards the west where the cold crimson sunset lay a narrow streak of light, he thought that truth and beauty which had guided human life there in the garden and in the yard of the high priest had continued without interruption to this day, and had evidently always been the chief thing in human life and in all earthly life, indeed; and the feeling of youth, health, vigour — he was only twenty-two — and the inexpressible sweet expectation of happiness, of unknown mysterious happiness, took possession of him little by little, and life seemed to him enchanting, marvellous, and full of lofty meaning.

The Doppelganger

Task description: Hey viewer, welcome or welcome back to my glog, today I’m going to be sharing part of a story called “The Doppelganger”. I thought the story was beyond belief, it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious story. And I hope you like it too, and I wish to do more like this soon. Hope you enjoy. Please leave a comment; thank you for visiting my blog. <3

Susan and Teddy had been married for over Sixteen years. She knew Teddy was unhappy with their marriage. But she held onto hope that they could work out their differences.

Teddy had told Susan on Friday Night that he wanted to go to the all day Flea Market. If she wanted to go they would have to leave before the Sun was up. This all day Flea Market was a two-hour drive, opening at 8am and closing at 6pm. He let her know that he was going to be there all day long. Susan and her youngest Bobby 10 chose to stay home; her older Children Steve 12 and Betsy 14 chose to go. They knew this flea market had lots of cool toys and video games for less than half of what was offered in stores or on-line.

Teddy and the older children left. They all said their goodbyes and left through the Garage. In only a few minutes the Electricity went out. The house was pitch black. Even though Susan was a grown woman she was afraid of the dark. She had been this way since she was a little girl. Her older brother had tortured her with scary Ghost Stories about being alone in an old abandoned House.

Susan could swear she heard her bedroom door open. In walked her Husband he gave a sweet smile and nonchalantly walked to the Garage. Susan held her breath and thought, “This has to be a dream, that’s it I’m not really awake.” But she heard Bobby scream, he said. “Mom, Dad already left, how could he be here again?”

Susan hadn’t noticed Bobby come into the Living Room; she assumed he was still asleep since it was so early. She tried not to sound hysterical. She assured Bobby, “Daddy must have forgotten something and came back.” Bobby disagreed, “No Mom I saw Daddy’s truck pull out and it didn’t come back. If Daddy had come back I would have heard the garage door open.”

Susan’s heart sank, how could this be. Susan grabbed her old antique heavy metal flashlight and told Bobby, “I’ll look around in the Garage, there has to be a rational explanation.” Bobby grabbed the other less heavy flashlight and said, “I’m going with you, I don’t want to be by myself.”

They walked into the Garage it was dark and musty. Susan had pestered Teddy to clean out the old storage boxes and get rid of all the junk they no longer wanted. But Teddy always had an excuse, “I have to work, I’ve got a Boys Night out planned, I’m just too tired. She knew she should have done it herself, but she had a back injury from an Automobile accident and was hesitant to put too much strain on it.
She and Bobby carefully made their way around the two-half car garage. Except for a couple of Spider-Webs they found nothing. They thought they heard faint whistling but Susan told herself and Bobby it was the wind.

Susan said, “Nothing here, we just have overactive imaginations.” Bobby shook his head, “No Mom I saw Dad, how can that be?” Susan said, “Well let’s go into the Living Room. If we can’t figure out anything better, then you and I will drive to the Flea Market and spend the day with your Dad, Brother and Sister.”

Bobby nodded his head in agreement. They went back into the Living Room. The small faint light of Sunrise made a sprinkling of light into this room. Susan sighed a breath of relief, “Well at least we can open up the Curtains and Shades and the house won’t look so gloomy. As she sat about doing this she heard the whistling that she attributed to the wind, only is was getting louder. She looked toward the Dining Room. The Evil Doppelganger of Teddy once again made his appearance. He said, “Hi Honey I’m home.” Susan was frozen in place. This couldn’t be happening this had to be some sick joke. Bobby too was frozen but he was able to blurt out. “You aren’t my Dad, my Dad left!”

The Doppelganger smiled, “Oh Bobby maybe not but I will be. You’ll learn to love me. I already love Your Mom, You and Steve and Betsy. Susan had gained control of herself; she grabbed Bobby’s hand and made a dash for the front door. But it would not open, the door wasn’t locked but she could not force it open.

The Doppelganger laughed, “Susan do you think it’s that easy to get away from me? I told you I love you and we will be together forever.” Susan screamed, “Not if I kill myself, than I’ll be dead and you can’t have me.” An evil smile came over the Doppelganger’s face. “But if you hurt yourself I’ll kill your Children, and I’ll make sure they go to Hell not Heaven. Do you want to risk their souls?”

Susan felt defeated. Her shoulders dropped. She asked, “But what will happen to Teddy? He’s not just going to give up. He’ll fight for the kids and me.” Once again the evil smile crossed his lips he said, “That’s the beauty of this. Teddy will forget all about you. He will find Happiness with another.”
The Doppelganger grabbed Susan’s right hand so hard she felt like it was going to break. He said, “We have a visit to make, come with me.” Susan fought against him; she didn’t want to leave Bobby by himself. He turned to Bobby and said, “You wait right here and be a good little boy. Your Mom and I will be right back.”


Bobby tried to lunge at the Doppelganger but the next he knew he was sitting on the couch. The Doppelganger warned, “Now you wouldn’t want me to hurt your sweet Mom would you?”
The Doppelganger and Susan left by the front door. She heard the locks closing. She tried to open the door but it wouldn’t budge. The Doppelganger whispered into her ear. “Now you wouldn’t want me to hurt sweet Bobby would you?”

They crossed the road and went to the House three doors down. Susan asked, “Why are we at Victoria’s House?” The Doppelganger put his finger to his mouth. He motioned for her to stand behind him. “Oh this is going to be so much fun.” He rang the doorbell and the beautiful Victoria answered. She licked her luscious lips and said, “Teddy I thought you said you were going to be gone all day, what a delicious surprise.”

The Doppelganger pulled Susan into view and Vicky’s Eyes became hard. Susan could feel the hate coming from them. She swore she could feel arrows darting out of them at her. The Doppelganger said, “Oh Vicky Susan and I have fallen in love all over again, we are going to renew our vows before God and Everyone.” Susan gave a small shake to her head; she hoped Vicky would pick up on her desperation. But Vicky’s hate was too strong. She slammed the door hard in their faces.

The Doppelganger pulled Susan back to her house. Even though the doors were locked the Doppelganger opened them with little ease. He said, “Now we will just wait till good old Hubby gets back.

At this point they were standing in the middle of the Living Room. A thought was crossing Susan’s mind. In her Safe in her Bedroom was a talisman. It had been handed down from her Mother, her Grandmother, Her Grandmother’s Mother, for over 200 years. It was supposed to ward off evil. But Vicky had put this away thinking it was just a fanciful story handed down by crazy Women.

She looked at Bobby and then at the key holder hoping he would pick up on what she silently communicated. He did, he gave a slight nod to acknowledge he understood.

Susan had to distract the Doppelganger. She said, “Since we’re going to be married we surely will have to dance at the Wedding, want to practise?” The Doppelganger laughed, “Susan you know you can’t dance.” Susan shyly smiled, “But you could teach me.” This got to his vanity; he grabbed her, not too hard.


They started dancing, in the air, Susan laughed, “Oh how fun, I’ve never felt so light on my feet.”
Bobby got into the Bedroom and found the safe. He opened it with the key and pulled out its contents. There was an old letter that looked at least a Hundred years old. It said ‘Use the Talisman as protection against Evil.’

Bobby snuck back into the Living Room and slipped the Talisman into his Mother’s hand. She grasped it and shoved it against what would be the Doppelganger’s heart. He screamed in agony and fell to the floor. Susan fell with him. She was hurt, but she fought against the pain. She held the Talisman hard to his chest. She tried to calm herself. She told Bobby, “Go in My closet and get that old ratty sheet you and your Brother and Sister hate because it smells so bad.”

Bobby did as instructed, touching this smelly old Sheet made him gag. But he got it and brought it to his Mom. Susan ripped the sheet into shreds with just her left hand. She slowly enveloped the Doppelganger in this. It was almost like she was turning him into a Mummy or even a Spider wrapping up its victim for later consumption.

When she completed the task she heard the Garage Door opening. She wondered if Teddy and the kids had called an early day to their trip.

The Kids were talking excitedly about their many treasures they had acquired. Susan looked at the clock realising it was already 6:30 in the evening. She must have lost track of time.

When Teddy saw Susan, she looked like she had gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. He said, “What the Hell is going on around here?” Susan told him of the Horrors and Trauma she and Bobby had suffered.
Teddy gave her a disgusted look. Susan said, “Here let me show you.’ She slowly and carefully unwrapped the Mummy-like creature she had captured, except there was nothing there.

Teddy hit the roof. “Susan I know you are crazy but now you’re dragging our Son into this!” I am packing and the kids and I are leaving this Looney Bin”

Susan said calmly, “Maybe you could move in with Vicky.” Teddy stopped dead in his tracks; his eyes widened, he stuttered, “Vicky? But, how?”……….

Waitangi Day

Waitangi Day is celebrated every year on the 6 February. It was on this date in 1840 that the first signatures, both British and Māori, were put on the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi).


Following this, the Treaty was taken around New Zealand to be signed by other Māori iwi (tribes) and hapū (sub-tribes) and by September 1840 more than 500 signatures were obtained.


What is the Treaty of Waitangi?

The Treaty is a broad agreement of principles on which to found a new nation state and build a government.

In the English version of the Treaty;

  • Māori cede the sovereignty of New Zealand to Britain;
  • Māori give the Crown an exclusive right to buy lands they wish to sell, and, in return, are guaranteed full rights of ownership of their lands, forests, fisheries and other possessions;
  • and Māori are given the rights and privileges of British subjects.


The Māori version was meant to have the same meaning, however the translation of key words was not correct and there were differences between the understanding of those signing and those negotiating. These differences have led to much debate.

The Treaty of Waitangi takes its name from the place it was first signed – Waitangi, in the Bay of Islands.


Things to do on Waitangi Day

Although Waitangi Day is a public holiday, it wasn’t until 2014 that it was ‘Mondayised’; if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday the following Monday is treated as a public holiday.


There are any number of ways people choose to spend Waitangi Day. Some like to attend an organised event, watch the proceedings from Waitangi on TV, while others just enjoy the day off by relaxing at home, having a BBQ with family and friends, or go to the beach or the marae.

The Shadow

It was the morning of October 30th, The day before Halloween. I have just woken up from the light shining in through the blinds and the smell of bacon and eggs across the dorm room hall. I looked at the clock and it was 7 A.M. My eyes lit up at the fact I was up so early. I finally got up from the bed and walked to the kitchen to make coffee with some breakfast. One good thing about living in Tennessee is the views in the morning of the Smoky mountains as the sunrise is coming up around the mountains with the sound of the cars and trolleys outside and the birds chirping.


As I get my coffee and breakfast I open my sliding glass door and sit outside. My phone goes off. It was from Jake. He asked, “ Hey you wanna go to a Haunted House Tomorrow at 7 with Ivory, Ben, Jess, and me.” I glanced at it with a big sigh. I know I have so much work to catch up on and Professor Lewis has me doing so much make-up work but I thought to myself “ It’s almost halloween it’ll only be an hour.” I texted Jake back saying I would go. I knew I was gonna regret that, I hate haunted houses. I hate being scared but that’s probably just the nervousness kicking in. I mean, what’s the worst thing that could happen? The idea starts to become a reality and the characters actually become killers. That’s impossible Right?


It turned 12 and I decided to go on a run with my other friend Becca. When I picked her up we decided to go get some smoothies and the new shop down the street. As we walked down the street the smell of the rain that had just passed by with the scents of all these restaurants with Tennessee’s known barbecue and the smell of the flowers and leaves blooming gracefully in the air made us happy at the fact we could call this beautiful state home. As me and Becca walk around the corner to the Shop we see a huge line waiting outside the door. We both looked at each other and decided it was best if we went on a run before so the line wasn’t as big, if we came back a couple hours later. We agreed to go on a hike trail that leads to the view of the Smoky Mountains because since Becca is new to Tennessee I thought she would fall more in love if she saw the mountains that create Tennessee.


A couple hours later after we ran up hills, hikes, and trails we were parched. Thank god there was no line to wait in. We walked in and ordered this smoothie that had Orange Juice, Blackberrys, strawberries and bananas in it. It was delicious. Becca got this Smoothie that had protein powder mixed with bananas and strawberries and she said that it was the best smoothie she has ever tasted. I guess everything tastes better in big cities.


After we were done with our drinks I dropped Becca off at her house and drove to my Dorm Room. The rules with living in a dorm room down here is you have a curfew so if your car isn’t in the parking garage you have to pay to park out of the facility. That’s why most people from my school take an Uber but I didn’t know I was gonna be out that late so I didn’t think much of it.


As I locked my door I thought I saw a person standing around the corner just looking at me. I looked back and didn’t see them, “ It’s just my eyes messing with me”, I thought to myself. Until I felt something touch me on my back. I turned around so fast and just yelled for help. It was a man whose face looked blurred out with a black suit on. I began to scream more but no one could hear me. It felt like I was screaming into a pillow. I was silent. I ran to the elevator with him chasing me in the corner of my eye. With every step I took it felt like the elevator was just getting further and further. As I pressed the button frantically looking all around me I couldn’t see him, I took a big deep breath and walked in. I knew something wasn’t right, it just didn’t feel like it was over. As the elevator closed I saw a hand reaching in, I knew it was him. He reached in and grabbed me.


I woke up in heat flashes with tears strolling down my face glad that it was just a dream. I couldn’t quite remember how I fell asleep. I think I passed out after dropping Becca off. I went to look outside to see if my car was actually in the garage or if my dream wasn’t really a dream. I walked through the parking garage and finally saw it there. I could feel the stress lift off my shoulders.


As I turned around BOO! Screamed Jake, Ben, Ivory, and Jess. My heart dropped and I screamed the loudest I have ever screamed. They all started laughing at me. I asked them what they were doing here and they looked at me like I was joking. “ The Haunted House”? Jake said. I told them “yeah but that’s at 7 this morning.” They looked at each other and laughed “ It’s 5 crystals”. I looked at my phone in astonishment at how late I woke up. I told them I had the craziest dream ever and I would tell them about it as I got ready.


An hour passed by and we were only 30 more minutes away from the Haunted House. I was so scared my stomach felt like there were little butterflies turning around and around in it. We kept telling scary stories in the car and scary stuff that has happened to us to make us more scared of the haunted house. Since this was only my second time going to the haunted house I was more scared than them because all the movies I have seen about Haunted Houses nothing ever goes right.


We finally arrived and it was weird how we were the only people there and it was almost open for more than 3 hours. I asked them if they had a good feeling about this because my gut told me something. They replied with “ Yes we’re just lucky we’re the only people here, people are probably just scared to come to a haunted house.” I went along with it because I felt like I was just being paranoid. We went up to the ticketbooth and got our tickets. The lady gives us a creepy smile and says enjoy. As we came up to the entrance there were 5 people. A Nun, A Witch, A Mummy, and A Person with a mask. They weren’t scary at all but they were intimidating because of how close they got in our face and how loud everything was.


It was finally time to go in. The Witch told me on my way “ Any Last Words Crystal ”. I thought, “ How does she know my name? I didn’t even tell her my name.” As we walked in all I could see was the flashing strobing lights with the sounds of chainsaws and clown laughs in the back. The formation of us walking in was me, Jack, and Ben in the front and in the back it was Ivory and Jess.


As we were walking in it was so hard to actually see where we were going. Imagine your eyes closed when you were little playing hide and seek counting down from 10. It kind of felt like that, the rush and adrenaline was the only thing racing through my body and mind walking closer and closer to each section.


As we went into clowntown that’s when everything changed. They showed us 5 doors to go in but they said we could only go in with one other person. So Ben, Jack, and Ivory went in the first door and me and Jess went in the second door. As we stepped one foot in the door I didn’t get a good feeling. I told Jess “ We should turn back around,” but she laughed and continued on. This door we walked into was very bright but only with strobe lights it was too fast for my eyes to focus so I just closed my eyes holding onto Jess’s hand continuing on.


A couple minutes passed by and all I heard was a big BOOM and a high pitched ringing sound that made me drop to my knees and cover my ears. I noticed that Jess wasn’t there anymore. I was holding onto what felt like something cold and fuzzy. I looked up still with the little bit of light wondering who it was and all I saw was a clown mask. I screamed “ Where’s my friend?”, “ This isn’t funny”. But there was no reply, he just laughed and said “ Gone.” I got my phone and held the flashlight around the room to find Jess.


“ There she is,” I said in relief. We both ran to each other, and ran towards the door we came in. As we tried to open the door it was locked. We were trapped. I could hear the screams of people in the haunted house not knowing whether it was my friend’s screams or not. Jess took her bobby pin out and tried to unlock it with the sharp point of it.


We heard a “Click” and saw the knob turn slowly. It was Jack. He was covered in blood, his eyes were open wide with his shirt cut in strands. He whispered to me with a shaky voice “ We need to get out of here and fast.” I looked at him and gave him the biggest hug not knowing if we would ever see eachother again. Me and Jess went out to look for an exit while Jack found the rest of the group. We tugged each other close and wrapped our arms around each other. We were careful of where to step and turn when we made our way through the haunted house. The silence itself was macabre as it was. As we walked we saw an exit, Jess and I decided it would be best if we didn’t leave eachother so I went with her. When we came to the door our hands were shaking with sweat dripping down our faces.


It was locked.


We became frantic and could see we were losing our minds while we were in here, which is what I would think was the plan all along as soon as we walked in. “ I knew this was a bad idea.” Jess became distressed and started to scream “Help, Help someone get me out of here.” I yelled at her to stop screaming or they would find us. “ I couldn’t blame her, she’s scared and I’m scared and we don’t know where our group is.”


A couple minutes passed by and here came Jake, Ben and Ivory running towards us saying “ There coming, There Coming.” He grabbed me and Jess and started running towards this blank area where nobody was. As we were running Jess stumbled on her shoe tie and when I looked up there’s a blank shadow standing behind her I screamed “ BEHIND YOU, JESS GET UP, GET UP.”


But it was too late . I saw how terrified she looked with tears rolling down her face as she got dragged out. “ I should’ve helped her, Jake, she was right there,” as I sobbed and screamed at him. I lost the feeling in my feet over how despairing it was to see my best friend get dragged out and not be able to say goodbye to her family.


We arrived at the blank area. We all slid down the wall out of breath copying what we had just seen. It was now Me, Jake, Ben, and Ivory left. We all talked about what our next move would be and where we would go. Jake decided it would be best if we ran through every part of the course hoping there would be an exit out at the end. We all thought and went through what each of us would be doing. Me and Ivory would be in the middle and Jake and Ben would be on the other two sides. We took a couple minutes to think and then we started our way. On our way down the hallway we tip-toed our way down so the shadow man didn’t see us. It was difficult especially when your legs are shaking and you can feel your heart coming up your throat. But we concentrated and worked together.


“ We made it through the first course,” I whispered to the group. We all had smiles on our faces. “ We might get out of here,” Ivory whispered. As we were approaching the second course something was wrong. It was quieter than usual. We stopped and thought if we should find another way to go through or not. We all agreed it would be best if we just ran this and got by it quicker. So we grabbed a sharp pole sticking out the wall and continued on. This town was weird; it was people with purge masks on and weapons. Me and Jake made a run for it and ran through the course. The screams and the cries of people made me so dizzy and sick. Ivory and Ben were behind us. I could tell there was something wrong with Ivory because I could see her getting slower and slower. So I decided to stay back with her and help her. I grabbed her hands and pulled her over my back and ran.


I put her down after I saw Jack and Ben. They told us that they don’t know where the end is and how we would do this.


All of a sudden, we saw him, the shadow man. My heart dropped down to my stomach as I saw him walking closer and closer to us. He grabbed Ivory by her head and pushed her against the wall. I came up behind him and hit him with the pole I had but he hit me with his shoulder and I fell and hit my head. Out of my blurry vision I saw Jack and Ben fighting him but it didn’t work. He shoved them off of him and took Ivory. They ran over to me trying to snap the unconsciousness out of me. I woke up a couple minutes later confused about why I was on the floor.


“ Have I forgotten everything? Can they hear me? They keep looking at me weird.” The thoughts overfilled my head.


They both helped me up as I shook my head trying to recap what had just happened. As I snapped back into reality I could hear them screaming “ We need to leave, We need to leave.” I picked up the pole and started to run with them. It was now me, Jake, and Ben left. We found a door that was open so we thought it was the best chance to go in there.


Suddenly we felt a fresh breeze flow in through the cracks, Jake turned his flashlight on and there it was the exit. We called 911 and hurried up and ran outside the door and the smell of the fresh breeze in the air with police sirens behind us. We ran towards the police cars with relief. We all gave each other a hug and began to cry because Ivory and Jess never made it out. It was sad to think that the well known have to continue our lives without them and have to tell their families what has happened to their daughter but I was glad we atleast made it out to freedom. As the police arrived they ran to us with a million questions. We told them our two friends had died there and there was this shadow man who killed them. They thought we were crazy until one of the sergeants yelled at them to call an ambulance and bring their handcuffs. It was Ivory and Jess. I knew they were dead from the looks on their faces, they carried them out with handcuffs and Jake held me back from punching them in their faces. I yelled “ You killed our friends for having fun, you deserve to rot in jail.” He looked at me and smirked.


Part III: Months after


It’s been a couple months since, and I thought it would be best if I moved. I don’t want to be in this town where my friends got killed. I texted Jake telling him I was moving away, he was sad and came over and he helped me pack. I told him he should come down to Texas with me but he wanted to stay because his parents lived in this town. I understood so I just told him how much I would miss him. We both hugged and continued packing.


A couple weeks later I was on a plane to Texas starting my new life. I looked down at the town I used to love and feel safe in but now I can’t look at it without hating it to shreds. When I got off the plane it was like a breath of a new start. It was hot and crowded, nothing like Tennessee. “ Maybe I made a mistake.” But I just need to get used to it, I mean it’s a new state with so many people. I whistled for a Taxi to take me to my new apartment I’ve been waiting to look at in person. As I stared out the window I could see all the cute little shops and schools I would soon be walking in. I felt happy and safe. “ I just really hope I can make some new friends in this town.” We arrived at my apartment and I was in love. I looked around at the space I would be walking in and around and its great walking distance to everything I would need.


When I walked in my room it was spacious with so many new things I could decorate inside and new walls I could paint. It was a step to starting over. But there was just one thing that I just couldn’t quite forget. Jake Facetimed me with a big smile on his face and he said “ How do you like the new city, Jess.” I replied with “good, I love it there’s so many new things and new foods to try. I just wish you could’ve been here to experience it with me.” He told me “He was happy that I was happy after months of being depressed.” We finally got off the phone but I still felt so guilty not telling them the truth and the truth was.


I heard a knock on the door, a newspaper was dropped off at my front door. It was of me, Jake, and Bend over what happened in Tennessee. When I turned it around there were big bold red letters on there saying “ I KNOW THE REAL YOU.” I freaked out and shut my door. “ How can they know, I’m the only one who knows what I did.” It was an accident. I didn’t mean for it to get that far. I didn’t mean to kill them.