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Hans Christian Andersen

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"But he has nothing on at all," said a little child at last. "Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child," said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. "But he has nothing on at all," cried at last the whole people. That made a deep impression upon the emperor, for it seemed to him that they were right; but he thought to himself, "Now I must bear up to the end." And the chamberlains walked with still greater dignity, as if they carried the train which did not exist.
--
The Emperor's New Clothes

 
Hans Christian Andersen

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On the bus going home I heard a most fascinating conversation between an old man and woman. "What a thing, though," the old woman said. "You'd hardly credit it." "She's always made a fuss of the whole family, but never me," the old man said. "Does she have a fire when the young people go to see her?" "Fire?" "She won't get people seeing her without warmth." "I know why she's doing it. Don't think I don't," the old man said. "My sister she said to me, 'I wish I had your easy life.' Now that upset me. I was upset by the way she phrased herself. 'Don't talk to me like that,' I said. 'I've only got to get on the phone and ring a certain number,' I said, 'to have you stopped.'" "Yes," the old woman said, "And you can, can't you?" "Were they always the same?" she said. "When you was a child? Can you throw yourself back? How was they years ago?" "The same," the old man said. "Wicked, isn't it?" the old woman said. "Take care, now" she said, as the old man left her. He didn't say a word but got off the bus looking disgruntled.

 
Joe Orton
 

She said to her, "Grandmother, what great arms you have!"
"That's to embrace you the better, my child."
"Grandmother, what great legs you have!"
"That's to run the better, my child."
"Grandmother, what great ears you have!"
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"Grandmother, what great teeth you have!"
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And upon saying these words, this naughty Wolf threw himself upon Little Red Riding Hood, and ate her.

 
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I remember one clear example of the problem of communicating what is to be learned. You may have heard of or gone through a similar experience with a student or your child. Years ago, the child of a friend whom I was visiting arrived home from his day at school, all excited about something he had learned. He was in the first grade and his teacher had started the class on reading lessons. The child, Gary, announced that he had learned a new word. "That's great, Gary," his mother said. "What is it?" He thought for a moment, then said, "I'll write it down for you." On a little chalkboard the child carefully printed, HOUSE. "That's fine, Gary," his mother said. "What does it say?" He looked at the word, then at his mother and said matter-of-factly, "I don't know."

 
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"But I can't devote myself entirely to a child," said she; "it may die which is not at all improbable."
"But, with care, many a delicate infant has become a strong man or woman."
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Shimrod said: "Once I thought of you as a child in a woman's body." Melanchte smiled a cool smile. "And now?" "The child seems to have wandered away".

 
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