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Posts tagged Myths, Fables and Legends (62)
Nos 31 to 40
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Francesco Geminiani
Greek and Roman Myths
The Midas Touch
An ancient Greek myth about the dangers of easy wealth.

THE story goes that the god Dionysius could not find his old friend Silenus, the satyr, who had drunk too much wine and wandered into the palace gardens of Midas, King of Phrygia.

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No. 31
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
Pygmalion and Galatea
Pygmalion discovered that prudishness is not the same as purity.

SOON after Orpheus wedded Eurydice, his cherished wife died, and could not be restored to life; and he grieved for her, singing to the accompaniment of his lyre.

One of his songs was of Pygmalion of Cyprus.

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No. 32
Antonin Dvořak
Greek and Roman Myths
Damon and Pythias
A tale of two friends with complete confidence in each other, and loyal to the death.

LIKE most tyrants, Dionysius of Sicily lived in constant fear of treachery. One day, Pythias fell under his suspicion, and Dionysius sentenced him to death.

Pythias requested permission to make his farewells to his family in Greece, promising to come back on the date appointed. Dionysius just laughed at him.

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No. 33
Muzio Clementi
Greek and Roman Myths
Heracles and the Hydra
The Greek hero thinks he has paid off more of his debt to the gods, but an unpleasant surprise awaits him.

THE second Labour appointed for Heracles seemed as hopeless as the first.

The Hydra, a serpent with nine heads, was causing havoc among the farms neighbouring the marsh of Lerna, and Heracles was to kill it.

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No. 34
Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Hans Christian Andersen
The Ugly Duckling
It’s not where you came from that matters, it’s where you belong.
Based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen
(1805-1875)

A MOTHER duck hatched a fine family of ducklings. Except for one. He was late in coming, and uncommonly large. He swam beautifully, but - such an ugly duckling! Even his quack sounded strange.

All the ducks in the yard pecked him and shunned him. ‘How ugly he is!’ some cried. ‘Like a turkey!’, sniffed others.

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No. 35
English Folksong
Hans Christian Andersen
The Princess on the Pea
A fastidious prince felt he deserved a girl of royal refinement, and he certainly found one.
Based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen
(1805-1875)

ONCE upon a time, a prince decided to find himself a princess, or rather (as he told himself) a real princess.

For the princesses of the neighbouring kingdoms were not at all what he imagined a princess should be, and soon he was quite discouraged.

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No. 36
Greek and Roman Myths
Perseus and the Gorgon
When Polydectes, King of Seriphos, sent Perseus to get the Gorgon’s head, he hoped the boy would never come back.

POLYDECTES, King of Seriphos, coveted Danaë, but he was afraid of her young son Perseus.

So the King demanded that the boy leave the island, and not return without the head of the Gorgon Medusa, so hideous that to look on her would turn a man to stone.

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No. 37
Greek and Roman Myths
Phrixus and the Golden Fleece
Long before Jason came to claim it, the golden fleece had already saved a boy’s life.

INO, second wife of the Bœotian King Athamas, hated her stepchildren, Phrixus and Helle, with an ungovernable passion.

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No. 38
2 two-part story
Richard Jones
Greek and Roman Myths
Jason and the Golden Fleece
A political rival sends Jason on a hopeless errand, to fetch the golden fleece.

WHEN Jason arrived in the Kingdom of Iolcus wearing one sandal, his uncle King Pelias was anxious. He had stolen the crown from Jason’s father, and had been told that a youth wearing one shoe would one day kill him.

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No. 39
2 two-part story
Malcolm Arnold
British Myths and Legends
The Lambton Worm
Part One. John Lambton goes fishing on a Sunday, and lets loose all kinds of trouble.

ONE Sunday morning, John, the young heir of Lambton Hall, skipped Mass and went fishing in the Wear. No good could come of that, and no good did.

That morning, he hooked only an ugly-looking worm, tossed it with disgust down a well, and promptly forgot about it.

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No. 40
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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
From ‘History of the Wars’ by Procopius of Caesarea
(c.500—c.560)
The Roman Emperor Honorius, so the story goes, had more on his mind than the impending sack of one of Europe’s iconic cities.
By Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)
Charles Dickens believed that Britain’s Saxon invaders gained power by force of arms – but not by weapons.
By John Buchan
(1875-1940)
John Buchan didn’t think much of our ‘new manners’ in foreign policy during the 1920s.
Based on a fable by
Aesop of Samos
A fox tries to save herself from a fall, but finds she would have been better off taking the tumble.
By Leslie Howard
(1893-1943)
In a Christmas broadcast in 1940, actor Leslie Howard explained why British sovereignty was worth fighting for.

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Polyword ‘Blue’
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 ‘pull along behind one’ (3 letters), and ‘self-evident or accepted proposition’ (5 letters)?
Changing one letter at a time, see if you can start with LESS and finish with MORE.
Find the magic letter that can change three words into three different ones.