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A Sack Full of Feathers

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  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius" for Kids @

    Yankel Liebovich has a very bad habit. Since his father owns the village store in Olkinik, he hears all kinds of stories every day. Unfortunately, Yankel doesn't usually hang around to hear the end of the tale. No, what Yankel hears are things that he knows the other school children will find funny, interesting, or horrifying--and those are the stories that Yankel tells daily. <BR/><BR/>He likes to brag about the fight between two women who were arguing over a piece of fabric at the store. "She's mean!" the other children comment. He likes to tell about how the baker used salt instead of sugar in his baked goods. "I'll never eat there again!" the other children say. For Yankel, finding a good story to share is more important than anything else; more important, perhaps, than the truth. <BR/><BR/>When the Rabbi sends Yankel on a mission to leave a feather at every home in the village, he does so without many questions. But when the Rabbi sends him back to those same homes, again, to retrieve that same feather, Yankel realizes the impossibility of his task. So, too, is it impossible to take back the stories that he likes to spread around Olkinik. <BR/><BR/>This is a great folktale that tells a very important lesson, although it might be one that is hard for younger children to understand at first. Once they truly grasp what gossip is, though, and how it can harm other people, they will learn, just like Yankel, that the only stories you should tell are your own.

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