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Posts tagged Myths, Fables and Legends (62)
Nos 21 to 30
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Benjamin Britten
Aesop of Samos
The Bald Lover
A man’s mid-life crisis leaves him a little ... exposed.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

A MAN had reached a time of life when he was no longer young, nor was he exactly old, but somewhere in between, with silver among the black of his hair.

He still kept a busy party diary, and had lost his head over two ladies, one young, and one of more mature years.

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No. 21
3 three-part story
Richard Jones
British Myths and Legends
Robin Hood and the Debt of Honour
The outlaw showed that strange as it may be, he did have a code of honour.

IT was Robin Hood’s custom to waylay a knight on the road, and invite him to dinner. As they finished their wine, Robin would ask how much money his guest was carrying, and if he lied, a tut-tutting Robin confiscated it.

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No. 22
Muzio Clementi
Aesop of Samos
The Hare and the Tortoise
One had natural talent but no discipline, the other had discipline but no natural talent.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

ONCE upon a time, the hare made fun of the tortoise for his horny feet. ‘I would still beat you in a race’ the tortoise replied, ‘fleet of foot though you be.’

‘Words, just words!’ laughed the hare. ‘But by all means put it to the test, and see for yourself.’

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No. 23
Elias Parish Alvars
Roman Myths
Roman Republic (509 BC - 27 BC)
Romulus and the Sabine Women
The legend of how Rome was settled gave rise to the March festival of Roman motherhood.

THE first inhabitants of Romulus’s city were mostly desperate outlaws from outlying states, and no father would give them his daughter in marriage.

So on the advice of his grandfather Numitor, Romulus held a great feast in honour of Neptune, with music and dancing.

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No. 24
Francesco Geminiani
British Myths and Legends
The Knight, the Lady, and the Forest of Sorrow
A little fable of encouragement for all the suffering.
Based on a fable by Jerome K. Jerome
(1859-1927)

ONCE upon a time, a company of knights rode upon the marches of a thick forest. Night lay upon it, and whoever turned aside from that path was held fast in its thorny briars, and lost in its darkness.

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No. 25
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Aesop of Samos
Belling the Cat
A council of mice comes up with a plan to outsmart the Cat, but volunteers are a bit thin on the ground.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos

LONG ago, the Mice gathered in anxious council to debate how they could best defend themselves against their great enemy, the Cat.

After a great deal of excited squeaking, one Mouse addressed the assembly with statesmanlike gravity.

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No. 26
3 three-part story
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
The Siege of Troy: the Abduction of Helen
Paris, prince of Troy, takes the not unwilling Queen of Sparta back home with him, and sparks twenty years of retribution.

WHEN Priam, King of Troy, sent his son Paris to Sparta on a diplomatic mission, the boy’s sister Cassandra warned him not to get involved with any of the Greek girls.

Far from taking her advice, however, Paris came home with the beautiful Queen of Sparta, Helen, on his arm.

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No. 27
2 two-part story
Ralph Vaughan Williams
British Myths and Legends
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
A knight issues a bizarre challenge to King Arthur and his court.

ONE New Year’s Eve, a knight rode into King Arthur’s hall. His clothes and armour were all green; even his skin was green.

Anyone who wished, cried the strange knight, could take one free swing at him with an axe — provided that he could then do the same in return.

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No. 28
2 two-part story
Ralph Vaughan Williams
British Myths and Legends
The Legend of Beowulf
The oldest surviving heroic legend in English begins with a wild creature of the fens that hunts men for prey.

MANY ages ago Scyld, the great King of the Danes, died. His body was committed to the sea in a great funeral ship, and the Danes did not expect to see his like again.

Among his descendants, however, was Hrothgar, a beloved leader who gathered noble men about him in his great mead-hall.

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No. 29
Henry Purcell
British Myths and Legends
How Brutus of Troy Became Britain’s First King
An early mediaeval myth linking British civilization to the Fall of Troy.

BRUTUS was a prince of Italy, and the great-grandson of Aeneas, the hero of Troy.

One day, Brutus shot his own father in a hunting accident, and fled to Greece. There he found many of his fellow Trojans, still oppressed by the Greeks who had tamed them so long before.

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No. 30
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Polywords (183)
Make as many words as you can from the letters of a nine-letter word.
Latest: Weir
Added on Sunday January 14th, 2018
Doublets (34)
Turn one word into another, changing just one letter each time.
Latest: Stardust
Quickwords (46)
A mini-crossword of everyday vocabulary and general knowledge.
Triplets (23)
Find one common letter that will turn three words into three new ones.
Latest: Triplet No. 23
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
See how ingenious you can be in combining three randomly chosen words in one sentence.
Compose sentences showing the difference in meaning, grammar or usage between these words.
Practise your basic arithmetic, from multiplation tables to percentages.
Latest: Target Number
Take command of English grammar and composition with these traditional exercises.
Latest: Letters Game
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
From our Archive
By Edmund Burke MP
(1729-1797)
Edmund Burke argues that England’s ‘revolution’ of 1688 worked because we changed the Government, not the Constitution.
A girl’s choice of words sees her turned out of hearth and home.
Florence used her logical mind and society connections to save thousands of lives in the Crimean War.
The Jay Treaty can be seen as the start of the ‘special relationship’ between Britain and America.
By Charlotte Brontë
(1816-1855)
Jane Eyre meets a not very handsome stranger, and likes him all the better for it.

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Polyword ‘News’
Make as many words as you can with the letters below. All your words must be at least four letters long, and must also include the highlighted letter. What’s the nine-letter word?

SEE how many words you can make using the letters below. All your words must be at least 4 letters long, and must include the letter (change).

We found commonly used words, plus one 9-letter word. Can you do better?

Use each letter only once. But if there are e.g. two As, you can used them both.

Don’t count proper nouns such as April, Zeus, or Newcastle (pretty much anything that has to be spelled with a capital letter at the start), or acronyms like HMRC.

Don’t just add -S for plurals or third person singular verbs, e.g. CAT → CATS or SPEAK → SPEAKS.

More Word Games
A word search game with a dash of strategy.
Guess these words letter by letter – before the cats are gone!
Do you know ‘additional’ (5), and ‘reject contemptuously’ (5)?
Change ROCK into SALT, one letter at a time.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.