Monday, April 13, 2015

K is for Kindness

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.

Old Pipes (called thus because his job is to pipe the cattle down from the hills each evening) lets a Dryad out of her tree where she has been imprisoned by the Echo Dwarf who is to echo back the sound of the pipes.  She repays him with a kiss that makes him 10 years younger.  He receives several other kisses and his old mother as well in return for his kindness.  

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.


Anonymous said...

Sweet lesson . . . kindness abounds!

Stories by Julie said...

Thanks, Mary.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Kindness is sometimes a person's lifeline. I have a plaque on my desk that reads, Do the kindest things in the kindest ways.

Stories by Julie said...

I like your plaque. The sentiment is very true.

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