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Assignment: Red Riding Hood Observations

For your first observation this semester, you will write an observation on the Red Riding Hood Packet of stories with three sections, each with one “explanation” subsection.

Red Riding Hood Observation Tasks

Here are the areas that I want you to look for as you read, and then think about in your writing for the Red Riding Hood stories:

Noticing Red Riding Hood’s Character Traits or Motivations and Explanation( ignorant/friendly, naughty, resourceful )

Based on the three versions of the story, what character traits do you see Red exhibiting? And/or, what motivations do you see driving her? Name at least three character traits or motivations (you may mix and match as you see fit, or they may be all traits or all motivations). In the explanation section, explain how the evidence you select supports the observation you’re making.

Noticing The Wolf’s Character Traits or Motivations and Explanation( Crafty, greedy, imprudence)

Based on the three versions of the story, what character traits do you see the Wolf exhibiting? And/or, what motivations do you see driving him? Name at least three character traits or motivations (you may mix and match as you see fit, or they may be all traits or all motivations). In the explanation section, explain how the evidence you select supports the observation you’re making.

Commenting on Key Differences Between the Stories and Explanation

In the final section of your Red Riding Hood Stories Observation, choose at least two of the stories (you may write about all three if you wish) and explain what you see as the most important differences in the story, including the ending (you must write about how the story ends, but may include other differences that you see as important as well). Please write about at least one difference between two stories that you find significant as well as comparing at least two of the endings. In your “observation section,” you’ll present details side by side while keeping the reader oriented between the two stories; in this section, I would like you to analyze the differences in the stories you present, and explain as best you can what you think those difference mean. (Obviously your analysis doesn’t have to be your final analysis forever—you will read and think more and your thoughts may change, but do your best at thinking on this on your own for now. Here’s another pro-tip: thinking takes time.)

Hopefully this all makes sense! Do your best on this, your first Observation assignment; I will grade and give feedback quickly, and if there are any surprises, you will have a chance to revise.

Length, Scope of Work

Due to the tasks required here and the extra spacing between headers, your first observation assignment will likely (and should) run at least two pages. You might find that your observation takes you a decent amount of time to complete (at least two hours), perhaps in more than one sitting—that is okay and appropriate (and perhaps even healthy as you adjust to being in summer school after a few weeks off). Please budget your time accordingly—these observations are not meant to be quick or small tasks; this is where some of your mental work takes place. Remember this work reflects your learning and is not meant to be rote, and the text you write here can feed directly into your essay or be revised accordingly.

MLA Format

Use MLA format for Observations, with one exception: please single-space your text (see “Robber Bridegroom” example observation for an example of the exact format I want). Here is a good resource for MLA formatting if you’re not familiar:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_general_format.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Highlights of the format for Observations:

  • Single space your observations except for “hard enter” spaces after identifying info (name, date, etc.), title, headers
  • use page numbers with your last name (e.g. xxxxx 2), but not on the first page
  • include a works cited entry after your final paragraph
    • I will provide you the info you need to write a works cited entry; I expect your MLA works cited entry to be 90% perfect and not sloppy. I will give you feedback on this if necessary, but the website above can teach you exactly as much as I can

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Alan Haslam Professor Alan Haslam English 123 17 June 2019 Observation: The Robber Bridegroom Noticing the Bride’s Character Traits or Motivations: disloyal/independent, intuitive, resourceful The first trait that the daughter in the story exhibits is that the she is not excited about being married off to her new “bridegroom”: “The girl, however, did not like him as much as a bride should like her bridegroom.” This seems to reveal a trait, although naming it would take deciding on a positive or negative spin; she is either “disloyal” to her father, or “independent.” Another trait she seems to show soon in the story is that she’s “intuitive.” She displays this trait when, on her way to her future husband’s house in the “dark woods,” she is “… frightened, although she herself did not know exactly why.” On this same trip, she shows another character trait, that she is “resourceful.” Because she is scared to go into the woods and feels something is wrong, “In order to mark the path, she filled her both her pockets full of peas and lentils,” which she scatters along the path as she walks to the house in the middle of the woods. Explanation The daughter not liking her future husband as much as she should could be seen again in two different ways depending on interpretation. It seems obvious that in “fairy tale times,” daughters like this should essentially go along with what their fathers say when they choose a marriage partner for them; this story implies that arranged marriage is the norm. If arranged marriage is the norm, and an accepted one, then the bride could be perceived as disloyal to her family, to societal norms, to gender norms. If we are looking at the story through a more modern lens—a feminist lens, for example—then we probably don’t see arranged marriage as a good thing because women should be able to choose with whom they partner. In this case, we could call the woman independent as a positive trait. Next, the young bride seems to show that she is intuitive, especially after we see how things turn out at the end. As she embarks toward her future husband’s house, she is essentially scared and doesn’t know why: she has a bad feeling about it all. This feeling is well-confirmed later by the talking bird, the old woman downstairs, and the horrible dismembering of the woman captive she witnesses. The idea of “women’s intuition” is a well-known traditional female trait, and this young woman seems to have it. Finally, the young bride seems to take some initiative and be resourceful when because of her intuitive fear, she devises a way to find her way back from the house in the woods which pays off later— the wind blows the trail of ashes away, but the peas and lentils she drops magically sprout into plants to lead her home. She also shows resourcefulness (of a kind) when she tells her father about what happened with the robbers and recounts the story at the wedding. It seems like women in this era are expected to be meek or passive, and from the get go, this wife is no such things. Noticing the Bridegroom’s Character Traits or Motivations: Authoritative, immoral, secretive The bridegroom isn’t described a great deal in “The Robber Bridegroom” through words, but his actions, and the actions of his friends, speak volumes. The first lines spoken to the his betrothed reveal Haslam 2 that he has some expectations about marriage before the wedding day, and thus might be considered to have a sense of authority as a character trait: “Next Sunday, you must come out to me,” he says, to his house in the “dark woods.” This might seem like a minor moment, but it is noteworthy in setting the tone for his approach to interacting with women. Next, both the bridegroom and his crew might be considered (to put it mildly) immoral. The “band” of male robbers is described as “godless” and indeed take part in godless, misogynistic, illegal, evil, and disturbing acts. Finally, an overarching trait of the bridegroom could be that he is secretive: he lives outside of society in a house deep in the woods; he has a big secret that he doesn’t want found out; and when his secret is found out, he “[becomes] as white as chalk … and [tries] to escape.” Explanation Even though the bridegroom’s order that his betrothed wife comes to see him is a small moment, it is important because it is an order, not a request. He doesn’t say “please,” he isn’t kind, and indeed, leaves no room for discussion when he uses the word “must.” The kind of authority he displays here seems a precursor to the way he objectifies women later, going so far as to treat one literally like a piece of meat. Next, the bridegroom and crew are immoral to such an extent as to be considered truly evil: they kidnap a woman, feed her alcohol to get her drunk (seemingly) and then kill her, strip her clothes off, chop her body into pieces, and then presumably eat her (although it’s not clear if they got that far or if her salted flesh was wasted in this case). This stripping and “devouring” seems like a metaphor for sex, or in this case, rape; the scene is a disturbing one. Finally, he is secretive out of necessity (like all murderers). The fact that he’s a murder and a cannibal obviously needs to be a secret as it’s not accepted by society (at all), and would result in him having a hard time finding brides if it was known. Indeed, the exposure of his secret is his undoing: when he is found out, society deals with him and his friends harshly, subjecting them to the legal system, who has them all executed. Commenting on The Overall Meaning of the Story: Beyond the Moral The moral of this story, if it has one, might be for a young bride, or young woman in general to trust her intuition if she has a bad feeling, especially about a man that she might be about to marry. Beyond that simple warning, the story might be saying something about marriage in general or arranged marriage in particular: that husbands might have secrets about their nature, and potentially dangerous ones. Explanation Although this story is light on details (other than gory, disturbing ones), it seems to say something about arranged marriages during the time this fairy tale was written or recorded from an oral tradition: the Grimm’s source seems to be a Marie Hassenpflug who lived from 1788-1856. During this time, it seems reasonable to assume that arranged marriage was the norm as reflected by the father in this story who selected a “rich” man for his young, beautiful daughter to marry once she was “of age” (marriage, childbearing). It seems important that “rich” seemed to be the only important trait for the new husband, because everything else seemed immediately suspicious to the bride and proved to be so. Perhaps this is one overall observation that can be made: that to prioritize money over virtue is dangerous. Haslam 3 Another overall observation could be that entering into an arranged marriage like this is like entering into a dangerous foreign land, and that a young wife can’t know what to expect from the outside. It is only after beginning to live with a new husband that she begins to learn his true nature. The “Robber Bridegroom” paints a pretty grim picture of marriage prospects for a new bride, one in which what could be seen as paranoia is proved correct. Another interesting side observation is that the young bride had some help in confirming her intuitive sense that something was wrong: a talking bird, and an old woman. The bird could be seen as a female symbol as well; “bird” is slang meaning girl in Britain, similar to “chick” in America, and birds are beautiful and delicate like the traditional idealization of women. The old woman could be seen as a wise woman or a mentor with more experience than the young woman, who guides her and helps her; in this way, she could be seen in almost a motherly role (which raises an interesting question: where is the bride’s mother in this story?). Works Cited Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm. “The Robber Bridegroom.” Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. Ed. D.L. Ashliman. University of Pittsburgh. www.pitt.edu/~dash/grimm040.html. Accessed 17 June 2019. Red LI1TLE Riding Stories RED Hood RIDING HOOD melodrama, and mystery. The feeling of dread, coupled with a sense Tatar, Maria, ed. The Classic Tales. of enchantment, captures the fascination Fairy with matters from New which chil­ York: Norton CriticalPavarotti, Editions, 1999. dren are usually shielded. like Dickens, is enamored of Little 10 Red Riding Hood, but his infatuation is driven by her ability to survive death, to emerge whole from the belly of the wolf even in the face of death’s finality. The Story of Grandmothed There was once a woman who had made some bread. She said to her daughter: “Take this loaf of hot bread and this bottle of milk over to granny’s.” The little girl left. At the crossroads she met a wolf, who asked: “Where are you going?” ”I’m taking a loaf of hot bread and a bottle of milk to granny’s. ” “Which path are you going to take,” asked the wolf, “the path of needles or the path of pins?”l “The path of needles,” said the little girl. “Well, then , I’ll take the path of pins.” The little girl had fun picking up needles. Meanwhile, the wolf ar­ rived at granny’s, killed her, put some of her flesh in the pantry and a bottle of her blood on the shelf. The little girl got there and knocked at the door. “Push the door,” said the wolf, ” it’s latched with a wet straw.” “Hello, granny. I’m bringing you a loaf of hot bread and a bottle of milk.” “Put it in the pantry, my child. Take some of the meat in there along with the bottle of wine on the shelf.”2 There was a little cat in the room who watched her eat and said: “Phooey! You’re a slut if you eat the flesh and drink the blood ofgranny.” “Take your clothes off, my child,” said the wolf, “and come into bed with me.” “Where should 1 put my apron?” “Throw it into the fire, my child . You won’t be needing it any longer. ” Told by Louis and Fran,ois Briffault in Ni CHe, 1885. Originally published by Palll Delarue, in “Les Contes merveilleux de Perrault et la tradition populaire,” Bulletin {olkloriqlle de i’I1e­ de-France (1951): 221-22. Translated for this Norton Critical Edition by Maria Tatar. Copy­ right © 1999 by Maria Tatar. 1. Yvonne Verdier (“Grand-meres, si VaLIs saviez … Ie Petit Chaperon Rouge dans la tradition orale,” Cahiers de Litterature Orale 4 [1978J: 17-55) reads the path of pins and the path of needles as part of a social discourse pertaining to apprenticeships for girls in sewing. In another region of Fran ce, the paths are described as the path of little stones and the path of little thorns. An Italian version refers to • path of stones and a path of roots. 2. Local variations turn the Resh into tortellin i in Italy and into sausage in France, while the blood is often said to be wine. PERRAULT / LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD II When she asked the wolf where to put all her other things, her bodice, her dress, her skirt, and her stockings, each time he said: “Throw them into the fire, my child . You won’t be needing them any longer.”3 “Oh, granny, how hairy you are!” “The better to keep me warm, my child!” “Oh, granny, what long nails you have!” “The better to scratch myself with, my child!” “Oh, granny, what big shoulders you have!” “The better to carry firewood with, my child!” “Oh, granny, what big ears you have!” “The better to hear you with , my child!” “Oh, granny, what big nostrils you have! ” “The better to sniff my tobacco with, my child! ” “Oh, granny, what a big mouth you have! ” “The better to eat you with, my child!” “Oh, granny, I need to go badly. Let me go outside!” “Do it in the bed, my child.” “No, granny, I want to go outside .” “All right, but don’t stay out long.” The wolf tied a rope made of wool to her leg and let her go outside . When the little girl got outside, she attached the end of the rope to a plum tree in the yard. The wolf became impatient and said: “Are you making cables out there? Are you making cables?” When he realized that there was no answer, he jumped out of bed and discovered that the little girl had escaped. He followed her, but he reached her house only after she had gotten inside. CHARLES PERRAULT Little Red Riding Hood t Once upon a time there was a village girl, the prettiest you can imagine. Her mother adored her. Her grandmother adored her even more and made a little red hood for her. The hood suited the child so much that everywhere she went she was known by the name Little Red Riding Hood. One day, her mother baked some cakes and said to her: “I want you 3. Many oral renditions of the tale presumably drew out the story by dwelling at length on what happens to each articl e of clothing. Charles Perrault, “Le Petit Chaperon Rouge,” in Histoires ou Co ntes du temps pa~. Avec des Mora/iUs (Paris: Barbin, 1697). Translated for this Norton C ritical Edition by Maria Tatar. Copyright © 1999 by Maria Tatar. 12 LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD BROTHERS GRIMM / LITTLE RED CAP to go and see how your grandmother is faring, for I’ve heard that she’s ill. Take her some cakes and this little pot of butter.” Little Red Riding Hood left right away for her grandmother’s house , which was in another village. As she was walking through the woods she met old Neighbor Wolf, who wanted to eat her right there on the spot. But he didn’t dare because some woodcutters were in the forest. He asked where she was going. The poor child, who did not know that it was dangerous to stop and listen to wolves, said: ”I’m going to see my grandmother and am taking her some cakes and a little pot of butter sent by my mother.” “Does she live very far away?” asked the wolf. “Oh, yes,” said Little Red Riding Hood. “She lives beyond the mill that you can see over there . Hers is the first house you come to in the village.” “Well, well,” said the wolf. “I think I shall go and see her too. I’ll take the path over here, and you take the path over there, and we’ll see who gets there first.” The wolf ran as fast as he could on the shorter path, and the little girl continued on her way along the longer path. She had a good time gathering nuts, chasing butterflies, and picking bunches of flowers that she found . The wolf did not take long to get to Grandmother’s house. He knocked : Rat-a-tat-tat. “Who’s there?” “It’s your granddaughter, Little Red Riding Hood,” said the wolf, disguising his voice. “And I’m bringing you some cake and a little pot of butter sent by my mother.” The dear grandmother, who was in bed because she was not feeling well, called out: “Pull the bolt and the latch will open.” The wolf pulled the bolt, and the door opened wide. He threw him­ self on the good woman and devoured her in no time, for he had eaten nothing in the last three days. Then he closed the door and lay down on Grandmother’s bed, waiting for Little Red Riding Hood , who, before long, came knocking at the door: Rat-a-tat-tat. “Who’s there?” Little Red Riding Hood was afraid at first when she heard the gruff voice of the wolf, but thinking that her grandmother must have caught cold, she said: “It’s your granddaughter, Little Red Riding Hood, and I’m bringing you some cake and a little pot of butter sent by my mother.” The wolf tried to soften his voice as he called out to her: “Pull the bolt and the latch will open.” Little Red Riding Hood pulled the bolt, and the door opened wide . When the wolf saw her come in , he hid under the covers of the bed and said: “Put the cakes and the little pot of butter on the bin and climb into bed with me.” Little Red Riding Hood took off her clothes and climbed into the bed. She was astonished to see what her grandmother looked like in her nightgown . “Grandmother,” she said, ‘What big arms you have!” “The better to hug you with, my child.” “Grandmother, what big legs you have!” “The better to run with, my child.” “Grandmother, what big ears you have!” ‘The better to hear with, my child.” “Grandmother, what big eyes you have! ” “The better to see with, my child.” “Grandmother, what big teeth you have!” “The better to eat you with!” Upon saying these words, the wicked wolf threw himself on Little Red Riding Hood and gobbled her up. 13 Moral From this story one learns that children, Especially young girls, Pretty, well-bred, and genteel, Are wrong to listen to just anyone, And it’s not at all strange, If a wolf ends up eating them . I say a wolf, but not all wolves Are exactly the same. Some are perfectly charming, Not loud, brutal, or angry, But tame, pleasant, and gentle, Following young ladies Right into their homes, into their chambers, But watch out if you haven’t learned that tame wolves Are the most dangerous of all. BROTHERS GRIMM Little Red Capt Once upon a time there was a dear little girl. If you set eyes on her vou could not but love her. The person who loved her most of all was Iler grandmother, and she could never give the child enough . Once she made her a little cap of red velvet. Since it was so becoming and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, “Rotkappchen,” in Kinder· und Hausmarchen , 7th ed . (Berl in: Dieterich, 1857; first published: Berlin: Realschulbuchhandlung, 1812). Translated for this Norton Critical Edition by Maria Tatar. Copyright © 1999 by Maria Tatar. 14 15 LITTLE RED RIDI NG HOOD BROTHERS GRIMM / LITJrLE R ED CAP since she wanted to wear it all the time, everyone called her Little Red Cap. One day her mother said to her: “Look, Little Red Cap. Here’s a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother. She is ill and feel s weak, and they will give her strength. You’d better start now before it gets too hot, and when you’re out in the woods, walk properly and don’t stray from the path. Otherwise you’ll fall and break the glass, and then there’ll be nothing for Grandmother. And when you enter her room, don’t forget to say good morning, and don’t go peeping in all the corners of the room.” “I’ll do just as you say,” Little Red Cap promised her mother. Grandmother lived deep in the woods, half an hour’s walk from the village. No sooner had Little Red Cap set foot in the forest than she met the wolf. Little Red Cap had no idea what a wicked beast he was, and so she wasn’t in the least afraid of him. “Good morning, Little Red Cap,” he said. “Thank you kindly, wolf. ” “Where are you headed so early in the morning, Little Red Cap?” “To my grandmother’s.” “What’s that you’ve got under your apron?” “Cake and wine. Yesterday we baked and Grandmother, who is sick and feels weak, needs something to make her feel better.” “Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Cap?” “It’s another quarter of an hour’s walk into the woods . Her house is right under three large oaks. You must know the place from the hazel hedges near it,” said Little Red Cap. The wolf thought to himself: “That tender young thing will make a dainty morsel. She’ll be even tastier than the old woman. If you’re really crafty, you’ll get them both.” He walked for a while beside Little Red Cap. Then he said: “Little Red Cap, have you seen the beautiful flowers all about? Why don’t you look around for a while? I don’t think you’ve even noticed how sweetly the birds are singing. You are walking along as if you were on the way to school, and yet it’s so heavenly out here in the wooels.” Little Red Cap opened her eyes wide and saw how the sunbeams were dancing this way and that through the trees and how there were beautiful flowers all about. She thought to herself: “If you bring a fresh bouquet to Grandmother, she will be overjoyed. It’s still so early in the morning that I’m sure to get there in plenty of time.” She left the path and ran off into the woods looking for flowers. As soon as she picked one she saw an even more beautiful one somewhere else and went after it, and so she went deeper and deeper into the woods. The wolf went straight to Grandmother’s house and knocked at the door. “Who’s there?” “Little Red Cap, I’ve brought some cake and wine. Open the door. ” “Just raise the latch ,” Grandmother call1ed out. ”I’m too weak to get 1I11t of bed.” The wolf raised the latch, and the dOlor swung wide open. Without ,.:Iying a word, he went straight to Grandmother’s bed and gobbled her lip. Then he put on her clothes and her mightcap, lay down in her bed, .llld drew the curtains. Meanwhile, Little Red Cap had been running around looking for !lowers. When she finally had so many that she couldn ‘t carry them ,til, she suddenly remembered Grandmother and set off again on the p:lth to her hOllse. She was surprised to tfind the door open, and when ‘.lle stepped into the house, she had su ch a strange feeling that she 111(lUght to herself: “Oh, my goodness, I’m llsually so glad to be at ( :randmother’s, but today I feel so nervous .” She called out a greeting but there was no answer. Then she went III the bed and drew back the curtains. Grandmother was lying there \Vith her nightcap pulled down over her fa ce. She looked very strange . “Oh, Grandmother, what big ears you have!” ”The better to hear you with.” “Oh, Grandmother, what big eyes you have!” “The better to see you with.” “Oh, Grandmother, what big hands you have!” “The better to grab you with!” “Oh, Grandmother, what a big, scary mouth you have!” “The better to eat you with l ” No sooner had the wolf spoken those words than he leaped out of I,cd and gobbled up poor Little Red Cap. Once the wolf had satisfied his desires, he lay down again in bed, It ·1I asleep, and began to snore very loudly. A huntsman happened to I… passing by the house just then and thought to himself: “How the “Id woman is snoring! You’d better check to see what’s wrong.” He I\’alked into the house and when he got bo the bed he saw that the wolf I\’a~ lying in it. ”I’ve found you at last, you old sinner,” he said. ”I’ve been after you IIII’ a while now.” IIe pulled out his musket and was about to take aim when he realized I \I :l t the wolf might have eaten Grandmother and that she could stiU Ill’ saved. Instead of firing, he took out a pair of scissors and began l’lIlting open the belly of the sleeping w·olf. After making a few snips, II( ‘ could see a red cap faintly. After malking a few more cuts, the girl !,lInped out, crying: “Oh, how terrified I was l It was so dark in the II’tl]fs belly!” And then the old grandmother found her way out alive , Ihough she could hardly breathe. Little Red Cap quickly fetched some hrge stones and filled the wolfs belly wi,th them . When he awoke, he II’:IS about to bound off, but the stones: were so heavy that his legs ndlapsed and he fell down dead. 16 LITtLE RED RIDING HOOD All three were overjoyed. The huntsman skinned the wolf and went home with the pelt. Grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine Little Red Cap had brought her and recovered her health. Littl e Red Cap thought to herself: “Never again will yo u stray from the path and go into the woods, when your mother ha s forbidden it.” There is also a story about another wolf who met Little Red Cap on the way to Grandmother’s, as she was taking her some cakes. The wolf tried to divert her from th e path , but Li ttle Red Cap was on her guard and kept right on going. She told her grandmother that she had met the wolf and that he had greeted her. But he had looked at her in such an ev il way that “If we hadn’t been out in the open, he would have gobbled me right up.” “Well then,” said Grandmoth er. “We’ll just lock that door so he can’t get in.” Not much later the wolfknocked at the door and called out: “Open the door, Grandmother, it’s Littl e Red Cap. I’m bringing you some cakes.” The two kept quiet and didn ‘t open th e door. Then old Grayhead circled the house a few times and fin ally jumped up on the roof. He was planning on waiting until Little Red Cap went home . Th en he was going to creep up after her and gobble her up in th e dark. But Grand­ moth er guessed what he had on his mind . Th ere was a big stone trough in front of the house. She said to the child: ” Here’s a bucket, Little Red Cap. Yesterda y I cooked some sausages. T ake the water ill which th ey were boiled and pour it into the trough.” Littl e Red Cap kept carrying water until that big, big trough was completely full. The smell of those sausages reached the wolfs nostrils. His neck was stretched out so long from sniffing and looking around that he lost his balanc e and began to slid e down. He went right down the roof into the trough and was drown ed. Little Red Cap walked home cheerfull y, and no one did her any harm. JAMES THURBER The Little Girl and the Wolft One afternoon a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along ca rrying a basket of food to her grandmoth er. Finally a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food . “Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?” asked th e wolf. The little girl said t James T hurber, ‘The LillIe G irl and the Wolf,” from Fables {or OUT Time and Famolls Poems tIIustrated by James Thwber (New York: Harpers, 1940). Cop~’ right © 1940 by James Thurber, re newed 1968 by Hele n Thurbe r a nd Rose ma ry A. T hurber. Reprinted by arrangem ent with Rosemary A. Thurbe r and the Barbara Hogenson Agency.


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