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A children's story set in the Iron Age. A girl, Morg, makes a wish to the goddess A Crown of Kingfishers. It being the last Thursday of the month, the greatest witch in Ireland had gone to the hairdressers and would not return for another hour. The Twelve Dancing Princesses. A soldier risks his life to uncover the secret of twelve beautiful princesses. Bobby Osgood woke up one October morning and he was twelve years old again Welcome to the children short story section at east of the web. The books of Ruth , Esther , and Jonah hardly need mentioning to those familiar with biblical literature: Nearly all of the ancient tales, whether from Israel, India, Egypt, or the Middle East , were fundamentally didactic.

Some of those ancient stories preached by presenting an ideal for readers to imitate. The early Greeks contributed greatly to the scope and art of short fiction. Apollodorus of Athens compiled a handbook of epitomes , or abstracts, of those tales around the 2nd century bce , but the tales themselves are no longer extant in their original form.

Story #1: What Life is All About

They appear, though somewhat transformed, in the longer poetical works of Hesiod , Homer , and the tragedians. The Cyropaedia also contains other narrative interpolations: Moreover, the Greeks are usually credited with originating the romance , a long form of prose fiction with stylized plots of love, catastrophe , and reunion.

The early Greek romances frequently took shape as a series of short tales. The Love Romances of Parthenius of Nicaea , who wrote during the reign of Augustus Caesar , is a collection of 36 prose stories of unhappy lovers. The Milesian Tales no longer extant was an extremely popular collection of erotic and ribald stories composed by Aristides of Miletus in the 2nd century bce and translated almost immediately into Latin.


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As the variety of these short narratives suggests, the Greeks were less insistent than earlier cultures that short fiction be predominantly didactic. By comparison the contribution of the Romans to short narrative was small. The other major fictional narratives to come out of Rome are novel-length works by Gaius Petronius Arbiter Satyricon , 1st century ce and Lucius Apuleius The Golden Ass , 2nd century ce. Like Ovid those men used potential short story material as episodes within a larger whole. The Roman love of rhetoric , it seems, encouraged the development of longer and more comprehensive forms of expression.

Regardless, the trend away from didacticism inaugurated by the Greeks was not reversed. The Middle Ages in Europe was a time of the proliferation, though not necessarily the refinement, of short narratives. The short tale became an important means of diversion and amusement. From the medieval era to the Renaissance, various cultures adopted short fiction for their own purposes.

Even the aggressive, grim spirit of the invading Germanic barbarians was amenable to expression in short prose. The myths and sagas extant in Scandinavia and Iceland indicate the kinds of bleak and violent tales the invaders took with them into southern Europe. In contrast, the romantic imagination and high spirits of the Celts remained manifest in their tales.

Wherever they appeared—in Ireland, Wales, or Brittany—stories steeped in magic and splendour also appeared. This spirit, easily recognized in such Irish mythological tales as Longes mac n-Uislenn probably 9th-century , infused the chivalric romances that developed somewhat later on the Continent. Many, but not all, of the romances are too long to be considered short stories. The latter was gifted as a creator of the short narrative poems known as the Breton lays.

Only occasionally did a popular short romance like Aucassin and Nicolette 13th century fail to address any of the three Matters. Also widely respected was the exemplum , a short didactic tale usually intended to dramatize or otherwise inspire model behaviour. Of all the exempla, the best known in the 11th and 12th centuries were the lives of the saints, some of which are extant. Among the common people of the late Middle Ages there appeared a literary movement counter to that of the romance and exemplum.

All were important as short narratives, but perhaps the most intriguing of the three are the fabliaux. First appearing around the middle of the 12th century, fabliaux remained popular for years, attracting the attention of Boccaccio and Chaucer. Some fabliaux are extant, all in verse. Often, the medieval storyteller—regardless of the kind of tale he preferred—relied on a framing circumstance that made possible the juxtaposition of several stories, each of them relatively autonomous.

7 Short Stories that Will Change Your Attitude (and Spare Some Pain)

Since there was little emphasis on organic unity, most storytellers preferred a flexible format, one that allowed tales to be added or removed at random with little change in effect. Such a format is found in The Seven Sages of Rome , a collection of stories so popular that nearly every European country had its own translation. The framing circumstance in The Seven Sages involves a prince condemned to death; his advocates the seven sages relate a new story each day, thereby delaying the execution until his innocence is made known. This technique is clearly similar to that of The Thousand and One Nights , components of which can be dated to as early as the 8th century but which was not translated as a single collection in Europe until the 18th century.

In both the Persian and Arabian versions of the frame, the clever Scheherazade avoids death by telling her king-husband a thousand stories. The versatility Chaucer displays in The Canterbury Tales — reflects the versatility of the age. This short list hardly exhausts the catalogue of forms Chaucer experimented with.

By relating tale to teller and by exploiting relationships among the various tellers, Chaucer endowed The Canterbury Tales with a unique, dramatic vitality. Where Chaucer reveals a character through actions and assertions, Boccaccio seems more interested in stories as pieces of action. With Boccaccio, the characters telling the stories, and usually the characters within, are of subordinate interest. Like Chaucer, Boccaccio frames his well-wrought tales in a metaphoric context.

Analysis of the genre

The trip to the shrine at Canterbury provides a meaningful backdrop against which Chaucer juxtaposes his earthy and pious characters. Behind every story, in effect, is the inescapable presence of the Black Death. The Decameron , likely written between and , is fashioned out of a variety of sources, including fabliaux, exempla, and short romances.

Immediately popular, the Decameron produced imitations nearly everywhere in western Europe. In Italy alone, there appeared at least 50 writers of novelle as short narratives were called after Boccaccio. Learning from the success and artistry of Boccaccio and, to a lesser degree, his contemporary Franco Sacchetti , Italian writers for three centuries kept the Western world supplied with short narratives.

Short Story: Rose

Sacchetti was no mere imitator of Boccaccio. Two other well-known narrative writers of the 14th century, Giovanni Fiorentino and Giovanni Sercambi, freely acknowledged their imitation of Boccaccio. With Masuccio the popularity of short stories was just beginning to spread. Almost every Italian in the 16th century, it has been suggested, tried his hand at novelle.

Matteo Bandello , the most influential and prolific writer, attempted nearly everything from brief histories and anecdotes to short romances, but he was most interested in tales of deception. Various other kinds of stories appeared. In the early 17th century, Giambattista Basile attempted to infuse stock situations often of the fairy-tale type, such as that of Puss in Boots with realistic details.

The result was often remarkable—a tale of hags or princes with very real motives and feelings. Or, it may be his use of a frame similar to that in the Decameron. This pattern was repeated in France , though the impetus provided by Boccaccio was not felt until the 15th century. As the most influential nation in Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, Spain contributed to the proliferation of short prose fiction. This focus was somewhat new for short fiction, heretofore either didactic or escapist. Despite the presence of these and other popular collections, short narrative in Spain was eventually overshadowed by a new form that began to emerge in the 16th century—the novel.

Like the earlier Romans, the Spanish writers of the early Renaissance often incorporated short story material as episodes in a larger whole. The 17th and 18th centuries mark the temporary decline of short fiction in the West. The causes of this phenomenon are many: Another cause for the disappearance of major works of short fiction is suggested by the growing preference for journalistic sketches.

The increasing awareness of other lands and the growing interest in social conditions accommodated by a publication boom produced a plethora of descriptive and biographical sketches. Although these journalistic elements later were incorporated in the fictional short story, for the time being fact held sway over the imagination.

7 Short Stories that Will Change Your Attitude (and Spare Some Pain)

We had rented it from the university where I would do my research for the coming year. But this is America, the land of individualism. We knew, however, that bumping into Rose would be inevitable since our front doors were adjacent to one another. We told ourselves to be cordial whenever that happened. Knowing we had come from a warm climate, she showed us her wardrobe and offered my wife her collection of winter clothes, including some overcoats with frills.


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    English Stories For Kids - Short Story Collection - 15 English Short Stories For Children

    She would not want to be seen dead in those clothes. Again my wife said no, thank you. From our long stay in the United States five years earlier, we knew that only grannies use these carts. My wife was not quite there yet. Although this offer became a talking point later every time we struggled with 10 shopping bags each for the minute walk home from Market Basket where we would do our weekly grocery shopping.

    We learned Rose was all alone in this world. She had never been married and was an only child. Rose had been a librarian in this university town, which explained the wide ranging topics of books she read, including the ongoing global war on terror. She had moved on to another book and another topic. There was no guilt or remorse in her remarks. Like many Americans I came to know, they believed in something, but just not in organized religions. She seemed to ignore it.

    Our friendship grew nevertheless. I made the mistake of remarking how much I loved her home-made potato latkes. Every week, she would bring a plateful of the Jewish pancake. It reminded me of the time I complimented my mother-in-law, just one week into my marriage, for her fried chili eggplant. After that, it was eggplant dishes every other night. We made sure whenever we had her over for dinner to go easy on the spices.