Hey all, here is a link for next week’s reading: The Lost Bet

The story is by a writer named Wendell Berry. It is about a farmer from rural Kentucky in the early 1900s and a bit of fun he has at the expense of a city-dwelling grocery store clerk who thought the farm was just a dumb yokel from the boonies. It’s a bit slow, initially, but keep reading. There’s a good pay-off at the end.

Here are your prompts:

  • There are three people prominently involved in this story: Tol, Sam, and the proprietor. Why do you think Berry does not give the proprietor a name in the story?
  • Talk about your own experience as you read the story. This is a different kind of story-telling, more like what you imagine someone doing around a family dinner as they describe an old story everyone has heard a dozen times. Did you enjoy simply hearing Berry describe Tol or were you feeling antsy and wanting the story go somewhere more quickly? (There’s no bad answer here; I’m mostly just curious to hear your thoughts!)
  • Write about a funny story from your own family and try to build suspense about it in the same way Berry does. We have a good sense that Tol is going to avenge himself on the proprietor almost immediately, but we have no clue as to how he’s going to do that until we are almost to the moment when he jumps in the eggs. Can you build suspense about your story in a similar way? Try it.

If you have questions, email me. I’d be happy to help in whatever way I can. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again next week.