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text 2018-11-05 02:12
Have you heard of Stepp Cemetery?

 

There is a place in my town called “Stepp Cemetery” and local legends talks of a sad, lonely ghost of a Woman in Black who wanders the graveyard. There are many different versions of why this ghost is there, but in all versions she remains behind, mourning over a lost family member. Some say she sits on an old tree stump, protecting the graves of loved ones and if you listen you can hear her cry. Growing up we always heard about the stories, so of course, it was common for people to go ghost hunting and exploring. A lot of dark stuff is rumored to take place there as well.

 

It was after Halloween, around 2am of the next morning. I was a teenager. My family and some of my neighbors randomly decided to load up and go to the graveyard. We had the idea that we would go and find the Woman in Black, but what we found proves that the living are far more scarier than the dead.

 

Stepp Cemetery felt eerie, but that was to be expected. The wind was howling and you could imagine the sounds of a crying female and dark, fleeting shadows were always just around the corner. It is safe to say that we thoroughly spooked ourselves. I don't know if anything ghostly we saw or heard was real or imagined, but at the time it all felt real.

 

Some of us took the experience seriously, but most of us were just being silly and goofing off, though I don't think in an overly disrespectful manner. Just kids and kids at heart being kids, I guess.

 

After exploring for a while, we came across a grave of what looked like a young child. It had an Angel headstone. There was a melted candle on top of it. Our first thoughts went to devil worshiping; it just felt wrong. The sound of the wind suddenly seemed louder, the cries that may or may not have been the ghost, sounded more desperate. We were more unsure and nobody was joking around anymore.

 

 

That frightened us enough that the adults decided we should probably head back to the cars. As we were heading back, we noticed two people far in the distance. They also felt so-so wrong. Nobody spoke. We all felt this. One by one we got behind a huge tree, hiding from view. Luckily, the men hadn’t noticed us. As the men came near us, we moved around the tree to stay out of view. It would have been comical, like something from an old cartoon had it not been so scary.

 

The men got to the gravestone with the melted candle. One bent down and started digging. “Where is it?” He sounded gruff and furious. There was a glint at his side. He was armed.

 

A fight or flight moment happened and without speaking again, we all bolted and ran back for our cars. The men saw and started to chase us. The wind seemed to be chanting go, go, go!

 

“Give it back!” Whatever the men were looking for, they thought we took it. Was the burning candle a marker for something? What could these men possibly want to find in this old forgotten cemetery? What was so important that they would come armed? Was it drug related or something darker?

 

Somehow we made it to the cars. It was now around 3am, I noticed as we pulled out.

 

As if the men weren't bad enough, as we left a van full of men in white masks and black robes pulled into the graveyard. They stared at us and it felt like they were burning our image into their memory. I will never forget the fear I felt and I am sure everyone else felt the same terror. A couple more minutes and we would have been caught by whoever these men in masks were.

 

 

Were they devil worshipers? Were they just college kids doing a fraternity initiation? We will never know, but they felt bad.

 

As for the Woman in Black? I think she is real and a protecting spirit. We have family buried at Stepp Cemetery, so was she protecting us as well and whenever we did things unspoken as a whole, I wonder if it was because of her influence.

.

 

 

The moral of this story is be careful when you go to a place where you only expect the dead. The living are far worse

 

[Images are free for personal and commercial use: www.pexels.com]

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review 2018-09-10 04:02
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Jon Scieszka,Lane Smith

This book is told from the point of view of the fox, who is trying to tell everyone how he became known as "big and bad". He was never trying to blow the house down! He just needed a cup of sugar for his grandmothers cake, and when the pigs said no, he sneezed because of a cold and blew their house down. This continued until the brick house, which was not blown over and the police came to the wolf yelling, sneezing and huffing at the brick house because of an insult to his grandmother! Poor grandmother never got her cake! I would use this book in an activity that would explore points of view using multiple versions of the three little pig stories!

Lexile: AD510L

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review 2018-09-09 17:29
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Jon Scieszka,Lane Smith

This is the TRUE story of the 3 little pigs told from the wolf's perspective. This would be a great way to teach children about perspectives and 1st person/ 3rd person, point of view. Kids sometimes don't realize the difference of a story between 3rd and 1st person point of view. There are other types too like omniscient, 2nd person, and limited. We would have to have an in depth lesson on pronouns and point of view, so I would read this book to a 3rd or 4th grade class.

An activity I would pair with it would be for kids to pick their favorite books and decide from which point of view the stories are told.I may assign paragraphs for the students to read in order to decide what point of view it is told from. That sounds boring, but it is important that kids understand.

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review 2018-09-08 23:03
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - Jon Scieszka,Lane Smith

Alexander T. Wolf is in pig prison and determined to prove his innocence. He insists that he was framed in the classic fairy tale and writes his own version which is shared through his point of view in the story. This spin off is told in the most unique way, while still incorporating elements from the original The Three Little Pigs. This book would be so great when comparing and contrasting stories and when discussing point of view! I would use this in my classroom to teach both of those literary concepts. When teaching these, I would also read my students the original fairy tale so they have a story to compare it to. 

 

Lexile: 510L

Fountas and Pinnell: Q

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review 2018-09-01 06:00
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood
Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle School

 

The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose.

- First sentence

 

Red's granny is sick (maybe dying) and she is determined to find a way to save her. She sets off on an adventure that brings understanding, knowledge, fear, excitement and even unexpected friendships.

 

Other books in this series include Rump, Jack, and Grump. They all come from the same world, but see it from different perspectives.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. I haven't read Grump, but I'm sure it won't disappoint. Red is a great character though a bit naive and sheltered. She learns a great deal during her adventure and grows into a stronger person. 

 

Bottom line: A fresh take on the story of Red Riding Hood that will take you on an exciting adventure filled with danger and unexpected friendships.

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