Category Archives: Anthology

365S: How to Tell Bad News

I am trying to find a story from 45 to 50 years ago. My mother was an English teacher and had a stash of older literature including a story that follows this story line. I believe it was English literature.
A man returns to the train station nearest his home after a long trip. His footman picks him up in a buggy and during the trip home they talk.
So Jeaves, how are things at home? Well sir, I hate to tell you but your fathers dog died. What? He wasn’t an old dog. Pray tell how did he die? Well sir, he overate himself to death. How could that be. What did he get a hold of that he was able to overeat? Well sir, he overate horse meat. And where would he get so much so much horse meat. All of your fathers horses died. Oh my, what killed my father’s horses? They died carrying water to put out the fire.
And on and on it goes. The house burned down from all the candles that were lit for the funeral of his mother. 
I want to say the title is How To Tell Bad News.
I really appreciate your help on this.

365Q: Medieval era based, “YA” 80s(?) Short romance

I have a book I read in 6th grade, which was around 1992. The book itself could have been older, like 1980s. It was a definite Young Adult book even if that didn’t have the description at that time. It was about a Lady who was recently widowed, very young, who lived in a crumbling Tower (Castle). She may have had one servant. She had a Rose garden which I think was a big part of the book. A criminal possibly a thief or murderer arrives at the castle one day and stays essentially taking her hostage. I remember it was a romance. It was a really short story in a very thin book, it reminded me very strongly of “A Door in the Wall” just in terms of time. And may have been plague mentions I can’t remember. It also reminded me of Secret Garden, just because the Rose garden seemed to play a huge part in the story.

365E: Romantic short story about two strangers: a carny and a young woman together on a carnival ride

I think it’s a paperback book from about 25-30 years ago. I’m sorry I don’t recall title nor author, nor cover.
I’ve tried googling what little I remember in nouns, but no luck. It could be a short story
anthology or a book of short stories by one writer. As I recall, the carny, a kind of rough guy meets a young woman and takes her on a ride on what we used to call ‘the wheel of death’ but I don’t think it was called that in the story. That carnival contraption is usually a huge metal mesh cylinder that people enter through a door, and then line up, standing up, around the edges of the cylinder/metal cage.

 When the machine starts up, the cylinder starts to whirl in a circle, faster and faster until all the people are plastered by centrifugal force to the walls… then the floor drops out so that people are whirling through space in this cage with no floor beneath them, held up only by centrifugal force.

How the wheel was actually constructed in story, not sure. But that’s the idea.

The carny might kiss the young woman while on the ride, not sure, but it was romantic leaning a tidge into eros I think. I’m sorry, cannot remember any of the other stories in the book. At age 77 now, a lot of memories are softer, but good memories have gotten stronger. One of the blessings of aging sometimes.

362X: Children’s David Lee Roth Short Story (Solved!)

I’m looking for a children’s book of short stories I received as a gift in the 80s. I think the front cover had a photo of an eagle with people standing on it. It may have been a blue cover.


I do remember one of the short stories was about two sisters in a fight. The younger sister accidentally drew a pen mark on her older sister’s David Lee Roth poster and when she tried to erase it she rubbed a hole through.

362Q: Old Fairytale Collection

I am looking for a fairytale collection that I remember from my youth. My mom bought them for us in the 1950s and my stepmother has thrown them out. Sorry, I do not have the title. Here is what I remember: There was a set of three books. The cover was hard-bound and cream-colored. Each book had a small colored panel on the spine. One green, one red and one brown. I recall that they contained “The Princess and the Pea”, “Rapunzel” and “Rutabaga Tale” I would love to buy these treasured tomes if anyone has them.

361Q: Pig Not as Knowledgeable About Human Objects as He Appears

I’m looking for a book that I can’t remember the title, author, or illustrator of. I believe it was a collection of children’s stories with different contributors. I know for sure that one of the stories involved a group of animals finding a pencil. They’re all very confused by the pencil, so they take it to their friend the pig, who they believe is very knowledgeable about human matters because he wears a suit jacket and maybe a hat. But he puts the pencil on his snout, and is eventually corrected about the true use of the pencil by another animal who writes with it instead.
This collection or another in the series may have also involved two animal friends meeting for lunch, and one of the animals having a robot that serves them lunch. The robot malfunctions and keeps saying “More lunch!” and serving food that they can’t eat.
If I had to guess, I’d say it was published probably somewhere between 1980-2000.

361C: African folktales children’s book

I am looking for a book from my childhood and I’m hoping you can help me. It is a children’s book of short stories/folktales/fables, all of which were set in Africa. Each story was different and had different characters. It was written in English, but all of the characters had African names. I think there were around 20 different stories.

It was a large, hardcover book, maybe 15-18 inches tall by 8-10 inches wide. The cover definitely had orange on it. I think it also had brown and dark green. I also am pretty sure that there were vertical stripes on the cover. I think the book had around 80-100 pages, but that number could be way off.

My mom read it to me in the mid to late 1990s, and it was probably purchased from a Scholastic book fair, Barnes and Noble, or Borders.

360Y: “Lead us to you Sarah!” or “Keep knocking Sarah!”

I read the book in the late ’90s? I had to have been in the 5th grade. I read a lot of paranormal books around that time! The book itself might have been a collection of ghost stories.  I don’t think it was “Stories to Tell in the Dark,” but I could be wrong.  All I know is that this particular story stuck with me for over twenty-five years.

A family moves into a house with their daughter. Could be just a single mom. The house was purchased after the woman who lived in it before passed. Soon after they move in the daughter starts having nightmares or is getting sick. She starts to talk about the ghost of a girl.

A medium is eventually called in and he holds a seance. The ghost’s name is Sarah (or Sara) and he asks that she knock to answer questions. Eventually, it is discovered that she is in on the property. With the knocks, she leads them to her resting place. “Keep Knocking Sarah!” or “Lead us to you Sarah!” is shouted by the medium. Her coffin is found behind the wall of the closet or the wall of the girl’s bedroom. Sarah is moved and buried next to her mother.

 

360J: Children’s book about animal characters, including a fox who gets his tail wet in a stream and meets a mermaid (Solved!)

I think the title was bedtime stories or goodnight stories, something like that.
The cover was a scene with trees and leaves, might have been autumn. In the foreground is a witch and a fox in a raincoat (maybe?) and they are surrounded by iridescent bubbles. 
The book was a few short stories about animal characters: 
In the first, a young fox (his name might have been Freddy)’s mother makes him a new raincoat and sends him off to play with friends, warning him not to get his tail wet. The friends end up sailing down a stream in an upturned umbrella and the fox’s tail hangs out and gets soaked. 
In another one, two other animal characters sneak into a local witch’s house and mess around with some spells, turning the sky green and grass blue. 
Another one had all the animal children go to the beach with school. The fox character meets a mermaid who gives him a shell to remember the sound of the sea.