Lin Yi’s lantern – slideshare


Nasreen’s Secret School -A true story from Afghanistan

My granddaughter, Nasreen, lives with me in Herat, an ancient city in Afghanistan. Art and music and learning once flourished here.
Then the soldiers came and changed everything. The art and music and learning are gone. Dark clouds hang over the city. Continue reading “Nasreen’s Secret School -A true story from Afghanistan”

The junkyard wonders

It was the end of summer. The katydids were still buzzing when I finally summoned up the courage to ask my dad if I could stay with him and Gramma for the school year instead of going back to California to be with Mom like always. “Your mother would miss you, Trisha, but I will talk to her,” Dad said.
I had a reason for staying. A good reason. Continue reading “The junkyard wonders”

Mama Sebona’s Shopping

Mama Sebona lived on a hillside, a long way from the shop.

To get to the shop, she had to walk along the footpath, down the hill, through the river, in and out of the rocks, up and over the ridge, along the valley and through the mealie-fields to the dusty road where there was a little white shop with a red tin roof under the gum trees.
It was a long way. Continue reading “Mama Sebona’s Shopping”

A Lesson for Kings

A jataka tale from India

The King of Benares and the King of Kosala once met on the road. Each sat erect in his chariot, taking the middle of the road. Each refused to make way for the other.

The charioteer of the King of Benares thought to solve this dilemma by letting the older of the two pass first. But on inquiry he found both to be of the same age. Continue reading “A Lesson for Kings”

The royal bee

The Royal Bee was inspired by the true story of our grandfather; Hong Seung Han, when he was an illiterate boy in late nineteenth-century Korea. Too poor to attend school, he would eavesdrop at the door of the rich children’s schoolhouse until he was eventually allowed to attend. After he won a national academic contest, the Governor of his province invited him to reside in the palace. There, he tutored the Governor’s young son while continuing his education.
Years later our grandfather attended seminary in Pyongyang under the teachings of an American missionary and became a prominent church minister. In 1905 he wed our grandmother; Pang Seung Hwa. Together they became missionaries in China. Continue reading “The royal bee”

The Bush

Joyce danced when the rabbits came. There was a ‘he’ buck rabbit and a ‘she’ doe rabbit. They weren’t at all like the thin, grey rabbits Joyce saw in the open country they called the bush. These were fat, white rabbits with pink eyes and fluffed up fur. They were bigger and a different shape. Joyce’s mother bundled them out of her basket and put them together in one wooden hutch. Continue reading “The Bush”


Don’t make a habit of lying.
You will always be alone.

Fire, Water, Truth and Falsehood

One day they went hunting together. They found a large number of cattle and began driving them home to their village. “Let us share these cattle equally,” said Truth as they traveled across the grasslands. “This is the fair way to divide our captives.”Long ago, Fire, Water, Truth, and Falsehood lived together in one large house. Although all were polite toward each other, they kept their distance. Truth and Falsehood sat on opposite sides of the room. Fire constantly leapt out of Water’s path. Continue reading “Sincerity”

Respect for Nature

Nature is generous to people.
Respect the much it gives you.

Our big home

We all live here.
People, ants, elephants, trees, lizards, lichen, turtles, bees.
We all share the same big home.
We share the water. We splash and slosh and swim in water.
And, of course, we all drink water.
Whales, dolphins, manatees, penguins, palm trees, you and me. Continue reading “Respect for Nature”

Believe me

Once upon a time there was a woman who had three dogs. One of them was elderly. The other not so much. The third was a fidgety puppy, always running around.

They all belonged to the same breed. Don’t ask me which, because I’m very ignorant about makes of dogs and breeds of cars – pardon! – breeds of dogs and makes of cars. Continue reading “Believe me”

A Storyless Wall

A wall in ruins asked me to tell its story.

What can possibly be told about a mossy and ivy-claded wall, bordering a pathway of almost no use?

At one end of the wall there is half a stone arch, suggesting the use of a door or gate of yesteryear. At the other end, an upright stone marks the corner around which only a few loose stones witness the former existence of part of a house, which used to meet the old wall there. Continue reading “A Storyless Wall”

Pink Words and Grey Words

Once upon a time, there were shops on Earth which sold pink words and shops which sold grey words. The former sold words such as I love you, I think of you, Thank you very much, If you please…The latter sold words such as Sillyhead, Bugger off, Shut up

In those days, pink words were much more in demand than grey words. Pink word sellers made big profits and there was always a sweet scent around the Earth. Grey word sellers seldom had customers, and only when there were big quarrels. Continue reading “Pink Words and Grey Words”

The house that love built

This is a true story. It happened in France after World War I where a whole village had been destroyed by the fighting.

Marie woke with a start to inky blackness and the familiar smell of dirt. Her small body shivered from the damp cold. As she roused herself to rearrange her rough bed of rags and burlap on the dirt floor, the nightmare that had jolted her from sleep closed around her head like a dark cloud. She had been having that nightmare every night. Continue reading “The house that love built”

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