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A CHRISTMAS IN JULY TALE - On a Cold Winter's Night by Amanda Bergloff

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She would sing songs in a language that made me think of ancient tangled woods that breathed like I did... It's summer, and it's hot where EC is, so celebrate "Christmas in July" and cool off (at least in your mind) with this tale of cousins, snow, and a special aunt.
I’ve always loved my Auntie Kay. She was by far my favorite aunt out of all the aunts that came to visit when I was a little girl. When my least favorite cousin, Maria, teased me and told me I needed to be nicer to everyone, Auntie Kay took the dirty rag she was dusting with and rubbed it in Maria’s face.
“You better be good for goodness’ sake,” Auntie Kay scolded. Maria ran off crying while Auntie Kay and I laughed.
I never liked the side of the family that cousin Maria was from. They dressed alike, sounded alike, and all of them had the same annoying laugh. It was horrible, and cousin Maria was the worst. She had to sleep in my room when they stayed during the holidays. Maria snored, and when she wasn’t s…

ON DEATH: ANTHROPOMORPHIC PERSONIFICATION and the STORIES WE TELL by Kiyomi Appleton Gaines

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How do stories using the personification of Death help us make peace with mortality? EC's contributing editor, Kiyomi Appleton Gaines,
shares her thoughts on the topic in this week's article:
The first story in which I remember reading about a personified Death, and one I still love, isThe Appointment in Samarra (or Samarkand). It's a very old tale, said to be from Mesopotamia, and is included in theTalmudand collections of Sufi wisdom, and is sometimes also calledWhen Death Came to Baghdad. In it, a man sends his servant on a long journey to avoid Death, only to find that Death had expected him there, in that other place, all along. I remember feeling that there was a certain injustice in that – if only the man had stayed home! How unfair that the man's fear of dying drove him to flee straight to the place of his death. Yet, how foolish to try to run away, only to spend his final days on a long journey to a distant land, far from all that he knew and loved. That is where…

FAIRY TALE FLASH - Melody Cottage by Mary Ellen Gambutti

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I say! Your life will now change...
"I could fracture their servitude to a pitiable life," muses the enchanted Blue Rabbit, as she punts on the enchanted river. Both anger and music emanate from a couple’s riverbank cottage. "I can make a difference in their life."

Overbearing husband is unhappy with his lot. His wife is resigned. She sullenly sweeps dust and cobwebs with a corn broom. His ill-contented moodiness sets her on the verge of despondency.
It goes like this:
“I just want a nice easy life, what’s wrong with that?”
And this: “Can’t you just be happy here with me?” Blue Rabbit hops from her boat and creeps under the garden fence where husband hoes garlic. “I say! Your life will now change!” Cobalt Cottontail extends her nimble cerulean paw with a velvet bag and a spell. Husband accepts plush pouch, and Mr. McGregor’s nemesis squeezes back under fence. Husband loosens the pouch strings. "Gold! Hare of Indigo has granted a fortune! Life will be better! We’ll leav…

FAIRY TALE FOOD & RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Sleeping Beauty and Sauce Robert by A.M. Offenwanger

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What does Sleeping Beauty have 
in common with Sauce Robert?
A.M. Offenwanger shares a fairy tale and combines it with a recipe in this month's 
Fairy Tale Food feature:
”Sauce Robert, Julia Child says in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is a brown mustard saucewith lots of onions and white wine, and is served with roast or braised pork, boiled beef, broiled chicken, hot meat leftovers or hamburgers. Obviously, Julia Child hadn’t read “Sleeping Beauty”, or she would have added “roast or broiled baby” to that list of acceptable meats. Well, at least the ogress thinks that Sauce Robertwould go well with cooked toddler; her chef disagrees.

What? You didn’t know about the ogress and the broiled baby? What version of “Sleeping Beauty” were you looking at? Oh, probably the same one I’m familiar with—lovely, tender Grimms’. That’s right, when it comes to “Sleeping Beauty”, the Grimms were the sweet, child-friendly storytellers; Charles Perrault’s version is a whole lot more grim. If you t…