Tuesday, 30 December 2014

It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach

Is anyone else getting cabin fever? Or beginning to wonder exactly how many more days until the kids go back to school? Or having that dream about finding a nice, quiet, secret room, halfway up the stairs? Well, check this one out and count your blessings. I did.
It Could Always Be Worse is a Yiddish folk tale retold and illustrated by Margot Zemach. It begins by telling us about a poor man who lives in one-room hut with his wife, his mother and his six children. 

"Because they were so crowded, the man and his wife often argued. The children were noisy, and they fought. ...The hut was full of crying and quarreling." 

He visits his Rabbi seeking advice. And is told to bring his chickens, his rooster and his goose into the hut to live with the family.
The results are pretty chaotic.

So he visits the Rabbi again. And again.
And every time, the Rabbi instructs him to bring more animals to live in the house.

Until the man, really desperate now, is finally told to let the chickens, the rooster, the goose, the goat and the cow out of his hut.
Which he does.

And they all sleep peacefully in their now comfy and quiet one-room hut.

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