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Syndic Literary Journal



Written by Paul M. Levitt


Narrated by Syndic Literary Journal Poets

Published by LeRoy Chatfield


Introduction by the Publisher

Paul. M. Levitt, Professor Emeritus of English,  University of Colorado at Boulder, has written 14 Moral Fables that I have agreed to publish ~ and narrate ~  in serial-fashion in Syndic Literary Journal.

The titles of these Moral Fables are: Bad Words; Crybaby; Making Believe and Day Dreaming; Drawing the Line; Eating; Pocket Money; Nay Saying; Practice; Respect; Shouting; Tidiness; Telling the Truth; Whining; and No Bullying

The narration for each Moral Fable is  provided by a Poet  from Syndic Literary Journal.

I hope you will enjoy these moral fables as much as I do.

~ LeRoy Chatfield, Publisher



Moral Fable N0.3 ~  Making Believe

& Day Dreaming

Narrated by Poet Charles Rammelkamp

     Every evening, when Mrs. Schwartz walked past her daughter Andrea’s bedroom, she could hear Andrea talking to someone.  But Andrea had no cellphone and she had no friends staying overnight.  Mrs. Schwartz thought that she heard two voices, one that sounded like her daughter and a second that sounded foreign.  The voices never spoke at the same time, but rather answered one another.

     In the morning, when Andrea came downstairs to breakfast, her mother asked her about the voices.

     “It was Tusker,” said Andrea.

     “Tusker?” repeated her mother, not having the slightest idea who Tusker could be.  “Who’s Tusker?”

     “Tusker the elephant,” replied Andrea.  “He’s from Africa and has long tusks, so I call him Tusker.”

     “Have you been making believe again?” asked Mrs. Schwartz.

     “I’ve been talking to Tusker,” answered Andrea.

     “Last week,” said Mrs. Schwartz, “it was Reynard the Fox.  And the week before that, it was Manny the Muskrat.  You must stop making believe and grow up.  You are almost thirteen, almost a teenager, almost a young woman.  Make-believe is for children.”

     Now Andrea loved to conduct long conversations with her imaginary animal friends.  During these conversations, she learned all sorts of things:  where they lived, who hunted them, and how they kept from being caught.  Tusker, for example, told her all about the country of Kenya, the tall grass, the salt licks, the rivers, and the endless plain, called the Serengeti, which runs for a thousand miles.

     “You’re just repeating what you’ve read,” said her mother.

     “Oh no,” answered Andrea.  “Tusker told me all about Kenya.”

     “Don’t make believe,” scolded her mother.

     “I’m not making believe,” said Andrea.  “Tusker is my friend and he tells me all kinds of things.”

     “If you make believe one more time,” said Mrs. Schwartz, “I’m not going to let you go to camp this summer.”

     Andrea was shocked.  “Not go to camp?” she asked.

     “Not go to camp,” her mother repeated.

     This was awful news.  Andrea loved camp.  At camp, she got to play with the tame animals and to feed the wild ones.  At camp, she hiked among the flowers and the plants, the ones with the strange and lovely names:  Pipsissewa, Buffalo Berry, Miner’s Candle, Princes Plume, Fairy Slipper, Wild Four-O’Clock, and Sky Pilot.  At camp, she could ride horses, using either a western or an eastern saddle.  Not go to camp?  Never!  So she decided not to talk out loud to her animal friends ever again.  Instead, she would talk to them silently.  In other words, she would daydream.

     And so it happened that at least once a day, when Mrs. Schwartz spoke to Andrea, Andrea didn’t hear her.

     “Andrea,” ordered Mrs. Schwartz, “quit daydreaming.”

     “I’m thinking,” replied Andrea.

     “You didn’t hear a word I said,” complained Mrs. Schwartz.

     “I did,” said Andrea.

     “What did I say?” asked Mrs. Schwartz.

     But Andrea couldn’t answer because she had, in fact, been daydreaming.

     “Daydreaming is for children,” said Mrs. Schwartz.  “You’re almost a teenager . . . a young woman.  You shouldn’t be daydreaming.”

     Andrea, though, loved the colors of daydreams.  She could see the red clay canyons that rivers run through, the orange tanager that flies down from the mountains and plays among the trees in the month of May, and the purple Spurless Columbine.  So she kept right on daydreaming.

     “If you daydream one more time,” said Mrs. Schwartz, “I’m not going to let you go to camp this summer.”

     Andrea now realized that her private world would have to end.  She had no choice.  Therefore she stopped daydreaming.  But when the daydreaming stopped, so too did her high grades in school.  For some reason that Andrea’s teacher couldn’t explain, her papers lost their imagination.  The sentences no longer sang and the words sounded flat.  Instead of writing papers about the Serengeti Plain and white rhinos, she wrote papers about “How I Spent My Weekend.”  Instead of characterizing the Muskrat, she described the new shopping mall downtown.  When Andrea’s teacher wrote a letter home to Mrs. Schwartz asking why Andrea’s papers no longer included stories about animals, the colors of the canyon walls, the orange tanager, and the purple Spurless Columbine, Mrs. Schwartz had no explanation.


What would you advise?

a. that Andrea stop daydreaming;

b. that Andrea daydream all the more;

c. that Mrs. Schwartz stop nagging Andrea;

d. that Mrs. Schwartz nag Andrea all the more;

e. that Mrs. Schwartz start daydreaming;

f. that Mrs. Schwartz be made to understand that the mind’s a dreaming pool which harbors the silver fish of wonder?



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