The Wise Woman by George MacDonald
George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors. I love his imagination and his ability to tell a story that feels like a folk tale which has come down through the ages.
This tale is about two little girls, one a spoiled princess, and one a vain and selfish shepherdess. The Wise Woman steals them from their homes and attempts to teach them what their neglectful parents have not. While some would call the tale moralizing, it is totally appropriate for today's parents and children. Just about every time I go to a store like WalMart, I see badly behaved children and I feel like it is just as much abuse to allow them to grow up to be obnoxious teens and adults as it is to beat them, and unfortunately, may be even worse.
The Wise Woman attempts to teach the girls by putting them in situations we would call behavior management or conditioning. She is really quite clever, but the reader is never certain if the girls can be changed. My favorite part of the book came at the end when she had a few things to say to the parents of these girls. She makes certain that they understand that they have neglected their responsibility as parents:>)
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