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Simplia was plagued with insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.

The Simpletons had just purchased admission to a big storytelling festival where one of the special guest tellers specialized in ancient Welsh stories.

“Simple as in thick-headed?” Sagacia asked.

“As in thick-headed and unread and provincial and unschooled and void of culture.”

“Whoa!” said Sagacia. “Why are you coming down so hard on your self?”

“I’m looking at the program and I’m seeing all these references to mythic heroes whose names I can’t even begin to pronounce, and this ancient epic I can’t pronounce either, and it’s clear there’s magic in these stories, there are other-worldly creatures effecting other-worldly interventions in these stories. It’s clear that they are wonder tales — fairy tales! — and I who, along with you, am an emissary of Vasilisa the Wise to all our Magical Friends at the Fairytale Lobby, have barely a nodding acquaintance with them.”

Just then, a passerby pressed a post-it note into Simplia’s hand and hurried away. Simplia unfolded it and read:

“Lucky you! You have a whole world to begin discovering. An ocean of new depths to plumb. And after the Mabigoni, so many of the fairy tales you’re familiar with with be all the richer. And there are so many other ones out there. There’s that Icelandic saga. Does it have magic? Is it a fairy tale? Some of those stories from India…they seem half myth, half legend, half folktale, half fairy tale. And what about those ‘Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio’? Twilight Zone meets The Brothers Grimm. Why don’t you ask Vasilisa to compile a reading list of essential stories, sagas, epics, and myths from all over the world? In good modern translations. I bet she’d be delighted.– Unapologetically —
Eavesdropping from Evanston.”</em

The Simpletons regarded the post-it note and bent their minds to the suggestion.

“Well, in Vasilisa’s absence, why don’t we ask our Magical Friends for such a required reading list?”

And they made plans that, just as soon as they arrived home, they would post Eavesdropping’s post-it note on the Fairy Tale Lobby bulletin board. With any luck, they wouldn’t have to wonder about what to read during the coming winter months.

(Caption for photo: It was a storytelling festival like no other storytelling festival you’ve ever attended. These are the fans. The tellers were truly unique.)