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Pickle Me This

July 6, 2008

Reading stories is bad enough…

“It is extremely interesting,” Anne told Marilla. “Each girl has to read her story out loud and then we have to talk it over. We are going to keep them all sacredly and have them to read to our descendants. We each write under a non-de-plume… All the girls go pretty well. Ruby Gillis is rather sentimental. She puts too much love-making into her stories and you know too much is worse than too little. Jane never puts in any because she says it makes her feel too silly when she has to read it out loud. Jane’s stories are extremely sensible. Then Diana puts too many murders into hers. She says most of the time she doesn’t know what to do with the people so she kills them off to get rid of them. I mostly always have to tell them what to write about, but that isn’t hard for I’ve millions of ideas.”

“I think this story-writing business is the foolishest yet,” scoffed Marilla. “You’ll get a pack of nonsense into your heads and waste time that should be put on your lessons. Reading stories is bad enough but writing them is worse.”

“But we’re so careful to put a moral into them all, Marilla,” explained Anne. “I insist upon that. All the good people are rewarded and the bad ones suitably punished. I’m sure that must have a wholesome effect. The moral is the greatest thing. Mr. Allen says so. I read one of my stories to him and Mrs. Allen and they both agreed that the moral was excellent. Only they laughed in the wrong places. I like it better when people cry. Jane and Ruby almost always cry when I come to the pathetic parts. Diana wrote her Aunt Josephine about our club and Aunt Josephine wrote back that we were to send her some of our stories. So we copied out four of our very best and sent them. Miss Josephine Barry wrote back that she had never read anything so amusing in all her life. That kind of puzzled us because the stories were all very pathetic and almost everybody died…” –L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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