What is better for our souls than a dose of kindness? Does it matter whether we receive the kindness or give it? What does story tell us about kindness?
Usually kindness is repaid in-kind. The characters who treat others kindly are rewarded with an act of kindness as well. Think of the Sir Gwain and Dame Ragnell. Mufaro’s youngest daughter. All the youngest sons who share their meals. Old Pipes and the Dryad. All these characters were repaid for their kindnesses with an act of kindness from the character they helped.
Have you heard of Old Pipes? This is a story my mother read to me from Book Trails (the Red Books) which I later found again in an old book I pounced on at a library book sale, Story-Telling for Upper Grade Teachers, copyright 1918. Frank R. Stockton is the author.
The next summer the Dryad is nowhere to be found as her winter tree was toppled in a wind storm. But Old Pipes and his mother lived on.
And Old Pipes piped the cattle down from the hills every day for many years.