The illustration and quote above is from our Week 3 Fairy-tale reading from “The King of the Golden River,” by John Ruskin. I’m reading from a lovely vintage copy printed in 1895, which makes the readings seem extra special. It was my favorite reading this week, and it went a little something like this. After South West Wind Esquire swept away in a whirlwind which tore off the roof and left the brothers in desolation, he kept his word by not returning to their plot ever again. This meant that the south west wind never came to their property to help their crops, and soon enough their crops dried up. In need of a new means of income the two wicked older brothers plotted a scheme to sell golden items, which they decided would not really be golden in truth, but brass would be mixed in so that they could make more money by defrauding their customers. They obtained a furnace and the raw materials necessary and they began their new business. It wasn’t very successful because the customers were not happy with the products and every time they made any money, instead of reinvesting in raw materials the brothers went straight to the bar and drank up all their earnings in alcohol. They continued in this way until they were left with only one item of raw material left in their possession, which was a special mug given as a gift to the youngest righteous brother, Gluck. It was a mug with a very strange but intriguing face carved into it. One evening the two oldest wicked brothers went out drinking and commanded to the youngest brother to melt down his precious mug and make something to sell. Since he wasn’t one to cross his brothers, he obeyed. He put the mug in the furnace and as it melted he heard a strange voice. When he poured the liquid metal out it formed into a little man with whispy golden hair like spun gold. They had a little conversation and the man gave him a sort of blessing which went something like this, “Whoever pours 3 drops of holy water into the source of the river, to him it will become a River of Gold, but whoever pours unholy water into the source of the river will turn into a black rock. There are no second chances.” This was the end of our reading. Next week we’ll see what happens. I’m looking forward to knowing the outcome.
All in all week 3 was rich and delightful. This week we engaged in Nature Walk & Journal Drawing, Gospel Readings according to the Orthodox Church Calendar, Christian Education, Latin, Greek, Poetry, Roman, British, and American History, Publicola – Plutarch, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare, Peter Pan, as well as folk songs from the 1800’s, Schumann, Mary Cassatt, Recitation of Psalm 1, and Dictation. It was a lovely feast of ideas.
Like the brothers from “The King of the Golden River,” we have rich soil and plenty of good things. Let us be hospitable rather than uncharitable with the good gifts given from God. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide us through Week 4. Amen.