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Rolla Peace News

June 5, 2022
Dear Friends:
Editor's notes:

As promised: Rolla Peace News will continue to publish on an occasional basis. I'll try to continue with a once a month schedule, but no promises.

There will be no scheduled Vigil for Peace this month. Please attend the March for our Lives against gun violence: Gather and rally at Phelps County Courthouse at 10:00am on Saturday, June 11. March begins at 10:30.

We'll try to schedule a vigil for Peace in July.

Webperson's note:

If you are having trouble reading this, it is posted at
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2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          Some Ukrainian and Russian Stories



In the wake of last week's school shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers in Uvalde, many cities in the United States including Rolla will host a March for our Lives against Gun Violence on June 11.

School shootings can happen anywhere. Uvalde is, like Rolla, a regional center in a rural area. Uvalde is somewhat smaller than Rolla.

In Rolla, participants will rally at the Phelps County Courthouse from 10 to 10:30 am and then march to City Hall and back to the Courthouse. More details at https://www.facebook.com/events/5421088064576523.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)

Some Ukrainian and Russian Stories

Before the pandemic hit and they closed the schools, I used to read stories to pre-school though first grade classes at Mark Twain Elementary. Some of our favorite folk tales were from the Russo-Ukrainian area.

In truth, I'm tired of writing about War; so here are some wonderful stories. Maybe someone else will pick up the ball and read these tales to the children when school reopens in August:
The Mitten: a Ukrainian folktale adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett
Nicki asks his grandmother to knit him a pair of mittens as white as the snow. Grandma refuses, saying that he'll lose them. Nicki begs and grandma finally gives in.

Nicki loses a mitten in the snow. A mole finds it and crawls inside to get warm. Then, a rabbit, a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, a fox and a bear climb in. Finally a mouse comes along and climbs on bear's nose. Bear sneezes and all the animals go flying all over the Ukraine.

Just then, Nicki notices that he's lost a mitten. He looks up in the sky and snatches the mitten out of the air as it goes flying by. Grandma wonders what happened to stretch the mitten so.

This is a wonderful story for listener participation: Each animal says, “Move over and make room for me.” The other animals all reply, “No room, no room.” After the third animal, the class will have these lines down pat.

Clay Boy: a Russian folk tale told by Mirra Ginsburg, pictures by Jos. A. Smith
Grandma and grandpa are lonely because their children have grown up and moved away. Grandpa finds a lump of clay and fashions a little clay boy and puts it by the fire to dry, saying, “Now we have a child again. We won't be lonely anymore.” When the clay boy is dry, he jumps up and says, “I'm hungry! Give me something to eat!” He eats everything in the house and all the animals in the barnyard, and then swallows grandma and grandpa. He goes out into the village and swallows all the villagers and their animals. Each time he swallows someone he grows bigger and bigger. Finally he comes across a goat, who says, “I'm ready to be eaten. Just close your eyes and open your mouth and I'll jump in.” When the clay boy closes his eyes, the goat butts him in the stomach. The clay boy breaks into a thousand pieces and all the villagers come tumbling out.
Also a good listener participation story. Every time the clay boy eats someone he shouts,"More! I want more!" The kids get this line down almost immediately.
And some other good stories from the Ukraine and Russia:
Christmas Spider's Miracle: a Ukrainian tale written by Trinka Hakes Noble and illustrated by Stephen Costanza. How a poor widow and her three children shared Christmas with a spider family.

Baboushka: A Russian Christmas Story retold by Arthur Scholey, Illustrated by Ray and Corinne Burrows. Russia's answer to Santa Claus.

The Birds' Gift: a Ukrainian Easter Story retold by Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Katya Krenina. The villagers save the birds from freezing in an early winter storm. On Easter, the birds return with a gift of beautifully colored eggs.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins: by Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. How Hershel of Ostropol tricked the goblins and saved Hanukkah. (Hershel of Ostropol lived around 1800ce. Ostropol now lies within the Ukraine.)

Maybe if we learned each others folk tales we could stop fighting and live in Peace. Here's how you write, “Peace,” in Ukrainian and Russian: мир. It's the same in both languages. Both languages use the Cyrillic alphabet. Its pronounced slightly differently in each language: mir (Russian), myr (Ukrainian). Perhaps, God willing, in the next newsletter I will be able to write that now we have мир in the Ukraine.

Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesdays (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Rollaites for Peace: near the top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,
yushasager (at) yahoo.com