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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 No.5  ~  Eating

Narrated by Poet Charles Rammelkamp


     “Eat your spinach . . . and your carrots,” ordered Mrs. Maroney.  “Don’t forget to finish your milk.  Remember the starving children in India.  Be sure to eat everything.”

     Sandra, her ten year old daughter, wondered how her not eating could affect the children in India.  “Mother,” she asked, “when I don’t eat, do you send my food to the starving children of India?”

     “Of course not,” answered her mother.  “What a silly idea.”

     “Then why do you always tell me to remember them?”

     “Because,” said her mother, growing uneasy with the discussion, “you should be glad you have enough to eat.”

     “I am glad,” said Sandra.

     “Then you should eat everything,” explained her mother.  “That way you show your appreciation for having food, when others have none.”

     “Wouldn’t it be better to send the starving children food,” asked Sandra, “than to make me eat all mine?”

     Although Mrs. Maroney often boasted to her friends that Sandra was a clever child, at times—like now—Mrs. Maroney complained that Sandra went too far.

     “Just eat your food—all of it!—and don’t ask so many questions,” said Mrs. Maroney.

     “I don’t want to eat all of it,” replied Sandra.

     Mrs. Maroney was alarmed.  Sandra had never talked back to her before.  So to make sure that Sandra didn’t get any rebellious ideas, she ordered her to eat every bite of food.

     “All of it?” asked Sandra.

     “All of it!” commanded Mrs. Maroney.

     “And if I don’t?”

     “Then,” said Mrs. Maroney, “no more dessert, no new tennis racket, and no friends staying overnight at the house.”

     “All right,” said Sandra belligerently, “you want me to eat everything, I’ll eat everything!”

     And indeed she did.  Everything her mother put on her plate, she ate.  She ate all her vegetables, all her meat and fish and pasta, all her potatoes and salad, all her bread and butter, all her dessert, and, as well, drank all her milk.  She even had seconds, to show her appreciation for having food when others had none.

     In no time, she started to put on weight, a tad here, a dab there.  Her face grew fuller, her stomach plumper, and her arms and legs thicker.  Each day she grew a little chubbier.  Pretty soon, the other children in the neighborhood and at school began to notice.  At first they only whispered about Sandra’s size, but then they began to repeat naughty sayings, like “Roly, poly” and “Mommy’s little fatty.”  One particularly rude child, named Everly, even sang a horrid little song in front of her.

     “Fat and Skinny had a race.  Fat fell down and broke her face.  Skinny went on to win the race.”

     When Sandra came home from school that day, she told her mother about the song Everly had sung.  But Mrs. Maroney did not take her side, as she expected.  Instead, she looked Sandra up and down and said:

     “Yes, you are getting plump.  No doubt about it.  I can see a few extra pounds here and there.”

     “Well, then,” said Sandra, “I’ll just stop eating—and you’ll see how fast I lose weight.”

     No sooner had Sandra said these words than she stopped eating; or rather, to be more precise, she began to eat like a bird:  a peck of this, a taste of that, but no more.

     In a month, she was as thin as a candle flame.  None of her clothes fit her.  She looked like a skin stretched across a frame.  Mrs. Maroney began to worry; and when she worried, she nagged.  So she did what came naturally to her.  She nagged Sandra about eating.

     “Eat your spinach . . . and your carrots.  Don’t forget to finish your milk.  Remember the starving children in India.  Be sure to eat everything.”

     “Mother,” said Sandra, “you sound like a broken record.  Get off my back.  Don’t blame me for not eating.  It’s your fault I was fat and now it’s your fault I’m skinny.”


What would you advise?

  1. that Mrs. Maroney make Sandra eat all her food;
  2. that Mrs. Maroney let Sandra eat only what she wants;
  3. that Mrs. Maroney stop nagging;
  4. that Mrs. Maroney nag all the more;
  5. that Mrs. Maroney not worry about the starving children in India;
  6. that Mrs. Maroney teach Sandra how to locate India on a map of the world?



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