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Japanese Fairy Tales

Momotaro, or the Story of the Son of a Peach

by Yei Theodora Ozaki

An old woman finds a large peach in a river, and when she and her husband cut it open to eat it, they find a child inside. They are overjoyed to now have a son to ease their lonely days. When the boy is fifteen, he goes off to rid the land of devils who live on an island, and takes a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant with him. He is victorious over the devils and returns home to live happily with his parents.

Jane Eyre

Chapter XVII

by Charlotte Brontë

Rochester has been gone for a week, and Jane is dismayed to learn that he may choose to depart for continental Europe without returning to Thornfield—according to Mrs. Fairfax, he could be gone for more than a year. A week later, however, Mrs. Fairfax receives word that Rochester will arrive in three days with a large group of guests. While she waits, Jane continues to be amazed by the apparently normal relations the strange, self-isolated Grace Poole enjoys with the rest of the staff. Jane also overhears a conversation in which a few of the servants discuss Grace’s high pay, and Jane is certain that she doesn’t know the entire truth about Grace Poole’s role at Thornfield. Rochester arrives at last, accompanied by a party of elegant and aristocratic guests. Jane is forced to join the group but spends the evening watching them from a window seat. Blanche Ingram and her mother are among the party’s members, and they treat Jane with disdain and cruelty. Jane tries to leave the party, but Rochester stops her. He grudgingly allows her to go when he sees the tears brimming in her eyes. He informs her that she must come into the drawing room every evening during his guests’ stay at Thornfield. As they part, Rochester nearly lets slip more than he intends. “Good-night, my—” he says, before biting his lip.