| Stories from Plato and Other Classic Writers|
|by Mary E. Burt|
|Twenty-seven stories adapted for young children from selections of works of classic writers of the ancient world. The stories were chosen by the author for their inspirational value, either 'because they contained fine moral points, or else because they were poetic statements of natural phenomena which might enhance the study of natural science.' Writers represented in the collection include Plato, Homer, Hesiod, Aristophanes, Pliny, and Ovid. Ages 6-9 |
FOR THE LITTLE BOY WHO WOULD NOT SAY "PLEASE"
 ONCE in a while there is a little boy does not know how to
say "please" and "thank you." I have even seen one who
did not seem to care for any one or respect anybody.
So I will tell you a story which shows how necessary it
is that people should be respectful.
There was a time when all men living on earth were
 disrespectful. They never said "please" nor "thank
you," and they grabbed everything away from others, and
no one cared for any one else.
At that time men were double. They had two faces, two
pairs of arms, two pairs of legs, four hands, and four
feet. There bodies were round like a ball, and when
they walked they rolled over and over like a wheel, or
more like a boy turning somersaults, heels over head,
head over heels, hand over hand, they went bumping
along in a most ridiculous fashion.
They were twice as strong as they are now, and they
could run twice as fast, and climb any tree
 like a cat.
They were very fierce too, and so saucy to the gods
that old Jupiter was almost afraid they would climb
Mount Olympus and put the gods to fight. He trembled
on his throne when he saw how strong and daring they
So Jupiter called Apollo and told him to take each
mortal and cut him right down through the middle so
that he should have only one pair of legs and arms; and
to smooth him out and pull the skin around him and tie
it up, and make his face straight and make him walk
upright on two legs, so that he would be one man
instead of a double man.
 Jupiter told Apollo to teach him to be respectful also,
and to instruct him that if he did not treat the gods
respectfully and love his fellow men he would have him
sliced right in two again so that he would have to go
hopping around on one leg and have only one arm, and
one eye, and half a nose.
Now, when men began to walk around on two legs and try
to help themselves with only two arms they began to
feel very lonesome for that other half that had always
been with them, and they kept thinking about the other
half, and that is the way men learned to care for each
other and to think about other folks instead
thinking all the time about themselves.
I am afraid that the little boy who would not say
"please" will lose half of himself sometime if he does
not learn to be polite and kind.
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