Sunday, May 01, 2005


My fourth graders just finished reading Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves out of the Junior Great Books series. One of the aspects of the story that we discussed was the nature of unearned wealth. How does it affect people? As the discussion progressed, one student brought up the Donald Duck story we read together. It was originally published in WDCS 126, vol 11, no.6, March 1951. In that story, a tornado comes along and empties Uncle Scrooge's money bin, and scatters all of his money throughout Duckburg and surrounding towns. The citizens of Duckburg and elsewhere are instant millionaires and every one of them decides to retire and run off the see the world.

Of course, nobody can get what they need anymore because all the stores have closed as the owners have split. The only ones still working are Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie on Scrooge's farm. Everyone has to come to them to buy the necessities of life, and due to the immutable law of supply and demand, Uncle Scrooge gets all of his money back.

We compared the two stories, and discussed if their was a common moral lesson. What made me happiest though, was that they remembered the story and were able to apply it to a story many months later. There is hope!

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