Cat Born – Chapter 5

This is chapter three of a novel written by my student - Katherine H.

Chapter 5

The rooms were decent. They had been cleaned not to recently, and were big enough to fit the members of their party.

“We’ll take them,”John said.

They didn’t have a choice.

They didn’t have the money for any where else, and they needed the sound rest of a real bed.

“John,this room will do for Julle and me,”Jasmine said.

“Great. the boys can take the other,its bigger.”

“Okay, let’s go tell them.”

“Innkeeper,”Jasmine asked,“do you have any jobs that two girls could do, by chance?”

“Hm… yep,I do, ye can do tu’ wushing. It’ll be one pent per dish”

“Thank you , Innkeeper, I’ll get Julle down here and get them started,” Jasmine said.

“John, what are ye’ doin’ ‘ere?” the innkeeper,Mark, asked.

“I’m just passing through.”John replied

“Ye were never supposed tu’ come back! Ye were exiled, and not for no good reason. Ye…ye are just like ye mum,Ye best not be seen ‘round ‘ere.”

“You know  that I would never do that! She lied, you know that she lied.”

“I know no such thing. Ye’ got a siver tongue, yer do. Fancy talk may make a thef out of ye. Did the gal offer her money ta’ ye’?”

“How would I know. I’m thirteen, I’m just learning to try to keep my fancy talk to myself.”

“Seven… Eight… Nine… Ten!” Jasmine said,“We’ve gotten enough money for five horses.”

“Great, you go buy them.” John said

“John… you’ve been avoiding going out and about the town. why don’t you go and  meet up with some old friends?”

“I didn’t have any friends when I left. Wouldn’t now.”

“Seven horses be a lot for four children, whut oo ye need ‘um for, may I ask?” asks the horse trader.

“There’s five of us actually, and we’re traveling.” Jasmine replied.

“To where?”


“John! Ye get out of here, ye thief!”

“I’m no thief, the rich women lied.”

“She had proof that ye had stolen from her!”

“It was fake.”

“It looked real ‘nuf.”

“No, it was fake. You know I can’t write, and what need had I ,of money, Mark provided all I needed.”

“I’d fu’goten yer can’t write.”

“You were there when I tried to read, last,” John reminded the horse trader.

“If I han’a known better I’ve thought ye blind,” the hours trader said with good humor restored to his voice.

“If I didn’t know better I would have thought it was chicken scratchings,” John replied.

Mr. Miller Meets Wizard Keen and Stampy

I was so excited to recently have had the chance to meet two people that I have great admiration for. I love watching Stampy videos on YouTube and he has just published a new series called Wonder Quest. In the series, there is a character named Wizard Keen who is voiced by a friend of mine named Adam Clarke. Adam has inspired many of my Minecraft projects, so it was really great to meet up with he and Stampy and to get my photo taken with them!

Adam, Stampy, and me!
Adam, Stampy, and me!

Cat Born – Chapter 4

This is chapter three of a novel written by my student - Katherine H. 

Chapter 4

Jasmine walked slightly behind the group of thirteen year olds. She and John had agreed that one of them should be in the back, and John was the one who knew where they were going. Thus the only choice left was Jasmine in the back.

“Jasmine!” someone hissed, “Jasmine, I need to talk to you!”

“Tell me who you are first,” Jasmine commanded.

“It’s Emma. Now I really need to talk to you!” Emma said in a whisper.

“Okay, but I need to see you and keep the others in sight,” Jasmine whispered back.

“Jasmine, I’m not thirteen!” Emma hissed.

Jasmine stopped suddenly and whipped around to look at the small Emma. Looking at Emma with this in mind, she DID look younger than thirteen, but not by much.

“WHAT?! You’re not thirteen?” Jasmine hissed.

“Me mum made me go to the square when she heard. She tought that I could be the one the prophecy was about.”

“You should have went home before this!”

“I was afraid to tell the lord or to ask anyone to take me home,” Emma sniffed.

“I’ll talk to John about this. Okay?” Jasmine said gently.

“Okay. Jasmine?” Emma whispered.

“Yes, Emma,” Jasmine said with a little smile.

“You remind me of my aunt,” Emma said.

John raised his hand and called stop.“We need to wait till tomorrow. Lets make camp now,” John ordered.

Jasmine slowly walked up to John and said, “John it’s about Emma. Can we talk, alone?”

“Sure, Jasmine.” John said.

Together they walked further into the forest.

“John, Emma is not thirteen,” Jasmine whispered

“What! How is this possible?” John demanded.

“Her mother forced her to go to the square. Emma said it was to try to get her to be the one the prophecy is about,” Jasmine replied.

John replied, “That would make sense. We need to get her out of this mess. But how! We both have to stay here!”

Jasmine looked over the ragged camp and said, “We should take them all home. One by one. It would get them all out of here.”

“What about you, Jasmine?” John asked.

“I need to find the man who will solve all this country’s problems,” Jasmine said with determination.

John smirked,”It sounds like you’re looking for the king.”

Jasmine walked away from the small, worn home. She would never put herself in that situation again. Never would she go up to a stranger’s door, unless the king ordered her to.

“John, you are much better at talking to strangers than me. So, next time you talk and I watch the equipment,” Jasmine moaned.

“Jasmine, I am not better than you at talking to strangers. I stumble over every word. You don’t. But if you want me to, yes, I’ll talk to them,” John decided.

“Great!” Jasmine exclaimed, then with a serious look on her face continued, “What’s the next town?”

John frowned, saying, “Senly, my town. We need to buy some horses there. The others can’t go on foot much longer.”

“We don’t have enough money for horses, John”

“Then we have to work for money,” John said.

The group of five thirteen year olds staggered into Senly in a tired cloud. Foot-sore from walking all day with heavy packs on their shoulders, they looked to John for directions.

“John, you know this place, is there a cheap inn we could stay at?” Jasmine asked.

“Yes, just down there,” John said, pointing down the street.

“Come on, let’s go!” Jasmine said to the others.

Groaning, they all started down the road. When they got to the inn John pushed open the door. Inside was light with dim candles and a fire in the corner. The air was filled with pipe smoke. When the door opened a groggy man looked up from behind the counter.

“Wheth do ye want. If it be a beer yer ou’ of luck. Yer all ter youn’. Now ge’ ou’,” the man grumbled.

“Sir, we don’t want a beer. We want two rooms.”John soothed the tired man.

“Oh, well din ye shud ‘av said. Were be yer pa and mum? Set ye ta fin ou’ if ter be room enough, ah wager. Ter’ be, if yer want ‘em.”

“We want to see them first. Jasmine?”

“Fine, kid, soon as yer paren’ get ‘ere.”

John stiffened, squaring his shoulders he said, “We travel alone.”

“Well, ‘um on then.”

[You’ll find chapter five next week]

Cat Born – Chapter 3

This is chapter three of a novel written by my student - Katherine H. 


Chapter 3

Jasmine was amazed at how many people John could convince to leave camp the next day. As for her, she would follow him anywhere. He was a good leader. Jasmine followed John around camp telling her part of the story, but only after John motioned for her to. The day went something like this-

“Hello, Betty. How are you?”said John.

“Hi, John. Jasmine. I’m fine, and how are yer.” said Betty

“We’re okay, I guess. It’s just- No, I can’t tell you! It’s too horrible!” Jasmine would exclaim.

“If you won’t tell her, I will. What this is all about is…It’s about that letter Lord Cindly got. He told me that the King ordered him to send us  all of us to the army. All except for the best at fighting.” John would declared.

Betty would gasp into her hand.

John would speak carefully, “Jasmine and I are going to run away, are you going to run with us?”

“Oh…I think I will go with you.”

So it went with boys and girls that came from all over the fiefdom. Soon nightfall was coming and John and Jasmine when to Jasmine’s tent.

“Jasmine, we should pack now,” John said as he let the tent flap fall.

Jasmine nodded.

“Jasmine? Will you help me pack?” John said softly.

“Will you help me pack?” Jasmine said softer than John.

“Of course I’ll help you, if you help me.” there was an odd note in John’s voice. Hurt?

“Then I will help you,” Jasmine said.

“Let’s start with your clothes.”

“They’re already packed.”


“I don’t know which ones to pack.”

“Well, let’s see what you have. Three short swords, two long swords, a harness of ten knives, a fold out knife, a knife to put in your belt buckle, and your copy of the Knives of Despair. So, keep out one short sword, the harness, the fold out knife, the belt knife, and last of all keep out the copy of The Knives of Despair.”

“That’s most of my weapons, John.”

“Yes,Jasmine,it is.”

“Well we’d better go and get me packed up!” John exclaimed.

John pulled back the tent flap to let Jasmine duck out. Then John stepped out and let the flap fall. John and Jasmine slowly walked down to John’s tent.

“John, where would you go? I mean, if you could go anywhere?” Jasmine said carefully.

“I’d go with you, you’re a lot more interesting than Senly. Jasmine, Its relly  boring,” John replied

“I know, John. I know.” Jasmine sighed

When John and Jasmine arrived at the tent John politely pulled the tent flap aside.

“Thank you, John.”

“I haven’t got anything packed, so let’s start with the clothes. This time.”

By the time Jasmine and John finished packing it was dark and past curfew.

“Jasmine, you’d better stay in my tent for the night, I’ll sleep on the floor,” John sighed.

“John, that would be wrong!” Jasmine exclaimed, “I’ll sneak to my tent. I’ll be fine, don’t worry.”

“You haven’t been trained for it!” John wipered fiercly.

“I’ve got plenty o’ trainin’ sneaking pass me mother. Now keep yer voice down! We’ll get caught if ye don’t!”Jasmine hissed, slipping into her mother’s accent.

“Fine, but if you get caught, you know the punishment!” John whispered hoarsely.

The punishment was ten lashes. It only happened once before, to a girl that wanted to stay in a boy’s bed for the night. Lord Cindly was furious when he found out what she wanted and raised it to fifteen whip lashes. From then on the only guy she would come close to was her cousin who had lived in the town next to hers.

Jasmine gently lifted the bottom of the tent up. Carefully she slipped out of the tent, leaving John to pace. Jasmine darted shadow to shadow to her tent. Then she flattened herself on the ground and peeled the edge of her tent up. Jasmine dragged herself under the tent edge and then let it fall. She crawled in on to her sleeping mat.

Jasmine walked down a long hallway. She couldn’t remember coming here. She continued to walk down the hallway. No it wasn’t a hallway. It was a throne room. At the end of the room was a huge gold throne. It seemed to glow against the black walls. No, thought Jasmine, it did glow. Jasmine now looked around. The room was long with black walls. She could she black pillars some how. There were no lights anywhere in the room, besides the throne. She looked back at the throne again. There was someone there!

“You have been chosen, mortal,” the figure boomed, “Heed my words, for I am Lithon. God of gods and master of all.

“How do I know you are telling the truth?”

“A god can take any form they want, and your mother knew me for what I was. Mortal, you must do the impossible and find the illegitimate child of the first born to the last king. They is close to you now.”

“As you wish, Lord,” Jasmine said with a bow.

“Now, go and do your task.”

The dream slowly started to fade to deep slumber.

Jasmine woke with a jerk. She was still in her tent, but now John was looking down at her with an odd look on his face.

“John, why are you in my tent?” Jasmine exclaimed.

“Jasmine,” John hissed, “It’s time to leave camp with the others, and you’re asking me why I’m in your tent?”

“Fine, let’s go then.”

Silently they slipped out into the predawn light. They padded down the lane to the first tent of someone who agreed to go with them, and then they slipped in in glancing around.

[Look for chapter four next week]

Cat Born – Chapter 2

This is chapter two of a novel written by my student – Katherine H. You can read chapter one HERE.


Chapter 2

“Sire, the report from the negotiations is here,” the fat commander said.

“Not good, I suppose, Commander,” sighed the King

“That’s not for me to say, your majesty.”

“Leave me, Commander.”

“Yes, Sire.”the commander turned and left.

“No… NO! We can’t have war!” A disparaging note flooded the king’s voice.

“How far is it to the next town?” Jasmine asked.

“Ten miles, give or take a few,” said Lord Cindly.

“When’s lunch?” That was the Senly boy, John.

“Kids,” the lord muttered. Then in a louder voice, “Now.”

Both 13-year-olds gave a start.

John was the first to speak, “You mean we eat now?”

“Yes, we eat now.” Lord Cindly sounded exasperated as he swung down from the saddle.

That’s when the bandits hit.

They were a ragtag bunch. There were only twenty, but that was enough. The bandits surrounded them. They advanced in a ragged line.

The lord and his four men shoved John and Jasmine in to the middle of the circle. Best in their town or not, they were still children and to be protected.

Jasmine pulled out the copy of the Knives of Despair she had. Her whole body seemed to be on fire. As adrenaline coursed through her veins she saw everything clearer. Like how John was trembling with fear and sweat was breaking out on his forehead, how the wind blowing at her back. The man in front of Jasmine fell from his horse, and with a cry Jasmine urged her horse forward into the gap.Dropping her Knives, she yanked a well balanced sword from its scabbard. The lead bandit grinned at her with rotting teeth. Jasmine smiled pleasantly back. A bandit nearly fell of his seat in surprise. The lead bandit’s smile simply grew when he saw. With one hand on the rains he urged the horse forward and slashed at Jasmine in a clumsy stroke. Jasmine nearly laughed at his attempt,she swung her sword up and brought it neatly into his head. Then his secound called out the signal to retreat. The second he did, Jasmine realized she had killed the man.

The clearing was a mess. Life blood was spilt on the ground like summer rain. Three men had died during the bandit attack and Lord Cindly was badly wounded. Jasmine was staring at the bodies that lay under cloths.

John came up to her and said softly, “It’s terrible, isn’t it?”

“Yes it is,” Jasmine whispered.

John spoke quietly. “Bandits killed my parents and now the people trying to protect us. Jasmine, I…,” he hesitated, “I wish you weren’t here. I wish that you didn’t have to see what these lowborn curs did.”

Jasmine started to sob.“Oh John, please don’t tell anyone. Please don’t.”

“Jasmine, I will never tell anyone you cried over a bandit’s death. I promise,” he soothed.

“But, I killed him, John! I killed him! I didn’t even think about it.”

“He would have killed you without a thought about you later. Be happy it hurt you. It means that you still have a heart.”

They had just started to leave when Lord Cindly cried out. He was to be slung behind a horse and move out that way, but he would have to endure the jostling of the road.

“This won’t work! My leg will kill me.”

“M’Lord we have to move out,” said one of the men.

“I can’t move like this,” Lord Cindly snapped, “my feet dragging in the dirt and a stabbed leg sending daggers of pain up my leg with every bump!”

“Yes m’lord.”

Everyone dismounted and wandered off and began to talk. Jasmine and John wandered to the edge of camp.

“John, we have to leave this place, but how?” Jasmine wondered.

“There… are herbs that numb wounds,” John replied, “If we could find them and lengthen the stretcher maybe we could leave.”.

“Oh! John, that’s a good idea!”

John had just finished explaining his idea to the Captain. John’s idea was a good one, so John and one of the men left to try to find the plant that would numb Lord Cindly’s wound. When he came back they had enough for three days. Then they mounted and rode out.

The next town they came to was bigger than Jasmine’s town, and her town was small enough to have no name. This town was called Heathmore, and not on Captain McCourt’s map.

“Cappy McCourt, town ahead,” said the forward scout.

“Lieutenant Clayton, thank you for the report. How far away?”

Lieutenant Clayton thought a moment before saying,“One mile, give or take, sir.”

“Good,” then raising his voice he shouted, “WE PRESS ON!”

“My lords and lady, I wish you welcome to Heathmore,” gushed the leader of the town.

He completely ignored Lord Cindly and kept bowing. When Captain McCourt finally was able to say something he pointed out Lord Cindly.

“Oh…Oh dear, Captain, what happened?” the leader of the town, asked.

“Sir, we happened upon bandits while riding for here,” McCourt said.

“Captain, he needs the town healer!” The sagna cried.

“Yes, so go get him.”

“Lord Cindly its good to see you awake and walking” Captain Mc Court boomed.

“Captain, it is good to walk.”

“M’ lord while you were… asleep a message came for you.”

“From whom?” the lord demanded.

“The king m’lord.”

“Give it to me.”

“Yes m’lord.”

“My Lord, what does the message say,” Jasmine asked Lord Cindly for the hundredth time.

“Fine,I’ll tell you,” the lord snapped, “It says that When you get all the best of the thirteen year olds in my fief I am to choose the best and conscript the rest into the army.”

“My Lord, I am sorry for pestering you so much. Please forgive me,” Jasmine said with icy calm, but the lord could see fear in her eyes.

Jasmine fled before the lord could reply, running to find John whom it was becoming quickly apparent was one of the only ones she could trust.

“John, the message that Lord Cindly got…it says that when all of us are gathered up to conscript except the best into the army, !” Jasmine burst as soon as they were away from the camp.

“Oh, Jasmine,” John soothed her, “I don’t believe that Lord Cindly could basicly send hundreds of innocent children to their deaths.”

“He was so angry; he looked like I spoiled some wonderful surprise for us.”

“He’s coming,” Jasmine said, fleeing the clearing.

“John, have you seen Jasmine? I’m afraid I gave her a fright.” Lord Cindly sighed.

“No Sir, I haven’t seen her. What could scare her so much that she would run away?” John asked.

“John, the letter that I received was from the king. It said that when I found the best of you, I’m…” Lord Cindly hesitated. “I’m to conscript all the rest into the army. They will be sent to the front of the battle lines after basic training.”

When Lord Cindly left to look for Jasmine, John walk the way Jasmine had went.

“Jasmine,” he called out, “Come back!”

“I’m here, John,” she replied. “Do you think he’s going to send us to the front lines.?”

“I- I don’t know,” John stuttered.

“John, let’s leave, please!”

“It seems we have to,” John muttered.

“Lets get our things now,” Jasmine declared.

Jasmine would have dashed into the clearing if John didn’t grab her arm,“Jasmine, everything needs to seem normal!”

“Oh! John you’re right. I would’ve given us away!” Jasmine moaned.

“Now, let’s go.”

They strolled to their respective tents, lightly talking. They saw Lieutenant McFredric leaning against Jasmines tent talking, a little too lightly, to Captain McCourt giving a false laugh once and a while.

“Hello, Lieutenant, Captain.”John said.

“Hello, John, Jasmine. How are you?” Captain McCourt called.

“We are fine Captain, and you?”Jasmine’s voice was flat and emotionless.

“I’m fine, Jasmine. Jasmine, John, can we talk in private? Please?” Lieutenant Clayton said.

“Yes, in my tent,” Jasmine said carefully.

“Thank you, Jasmine.” the captain said, his voice filled with relief.

When they were all in the tent the Lieutenant turned and made sure that the tent flap was securely tied.

Then he turned to them and said, “Jasmine, John, you need to get out of here, with the others. The king only wants one thirteen year old in the country. Anyone that has tried to change his mind has been beheaded for treason. We will get all of you out but you need to convince the others to follow you out of the camp.”

“How?” John and Jasmine said at the same time.

“That is up to you to. We don’t know,” Captain McCourt.

“We will, if we can.” John said pulling the flap open.

The Captain and Lieutenant walked out. Then, John walked out, letting the flap fall.

[Stay tuned for chapter three coming next week]

Cat Born

This guest post is from one of my students - Katherine H. She is having fun learning how to write a novel and it will be serialized on this blog. Enjoy!


The wall glowed with golden light as writing formed words on the wall:

In the year of the raven

The time will come

A choice to make  

Or all will fall

A hero to arise

Born of the cat

Thirteen by age

Skilled by arms

Wrong be made right

Blood be spilt

Rivers run red

Kings make full circle

The room had not been opened for three millennia and would not be opened for another five.

Chapter 1

Jasmine stared at the two knives.

“They’re copies of the Knives of Despair,” the booth vendor told her.

Jasmin glanced up and said, “How much for them?”

“Three pents, no more, no less, little miss.”

“You got a deal, mister.”

The knives were the oddest pair Jasmine had ever seen. One was completely black and the blade looked like it was badly cared for, though the rest of it disagreed. The other was in a sheath. Jasmine tugged it out; the blade was silver and smoothly sharpened. The pommel was wood. The knife was longer than the black one, but thinner. Jasmine slid it back into the sheath.

She gazed up at the sky. Realizing how late it was Jasmine raced home, shoving the knives in to her pack. Jasmine threw the pack on her back, then hiked her skirt up.  Three yards down the lane she skidded to the right. As she burst into the cabin’s front room, Jasmine stripped off her shoes.

“Jasmine, you’re nearly late again, for the seventh time!” Jasmine’s plump mother, Janet, scolded.

“Mama, I didn’t realize how late it was, that’s all,” Jasmine said.

“Really.”  Janet’s voice was icy.  ”Open your pack.”

“Mama,I have chores to do,” Jasmine protested.

“I won’t have me dooter ‘ave weapons, especially in me home!” Jasmines mother screamed falling in to the words she had been brought up on.

Jasmine’s own voice rose in anger, “You let Jimmy and Leo; why not me?”

“Jimmy and Leo are boys, not 13 year old girls born in the year of the cat!  I ain’t gonna let you be a disgrace ta this house. And that is ta end of it.”

Jasmine’s mother never thought of her own disgrace, only stopping to think about Jasmine’s. Jasmine wasn’t Leo and Jimmy’s full sister. She was only their half-sister. Rose, Carla, and Katherine where only half-sisters to each other and Jimmy and Leo.

Janet’s tone softened,“Jasmine, I know that look.  Go do your chores and forget about my wrongs. I’m trying to keep your name clean if not mine.”

“Mama what if they were a gift for Leo and Jimmy?” Jasmine questioned.

“Then that would be fine. Now go do your chores.”

Mother and daughter parted. As Jasmine went around her chores she thought about the fight with her mother.

Late that night word came:  the hall of prophecies had been opened, all boys and girls that where 13 where to gather in the main square to be tested.  Janet had Jasmine dress up nicely and walk down to the main square.

Three leather-clad men where in the square. Jasmine looked around. So far only 15 boys and girls were there, but more trickled in by the second. The square was only a quarter filled by the all 13 year olds in the town. Great doors creaked shut on all four main street.

The tallest man called “All of you will be tested in the skill of arms, the greatest will go to the capital of the fief and be tested again with the others from the other fiefs. You will be divided up into pairs by my colleagues.” he motioned for the other men to start. The other four men leapt to their tasks.

The tallest leather clad man spoke again, “Fight once you get weapons and I say go.”

Suddenly two strange knives were pressed in to Jasmine’s hands; they looked exactly like the knives that Jasmine bought earlier that day!

Jasmine squared off with one of the boys from across the town. He looked like he liked fighting.

The tallest man in leather spoke again, “On the count of three you will begin fighting.” He paused,“One…two…THREE!”

With a flourish the boy across from Jasmine slashed at her. Jasmine yelped and leaped back, and quickly jabbed at him. The boy gave a start and stumbled back. He obviously was not expecting retaliation. Pressing her advantage, Jasmine slashed to his right then his left. She darted around him and put one knife to his neck, the other to his belly. He froze. One of the leather clad men whistled. Slowly Jasmine drew the knives away. The boy gasped and fell to his knees.

For Jasmine the next few hours flew by. In the end she was paired off with a boy from across town. He was handsome, in a cruel way. He had high cheekbones and turquoise eyes. His hair was a golden dirty blond, his skin a golden brown. In his hand he held a heavy sword. He put a dazzling smile on his face but Jasmine looked at his eyes. The smile didn’t reach his eyes.

The tall man spoke, “On the count of three. One…two…” He hesitated longer than he should have. “THREE.”

The manling’s sword whizzed, and Jasmine felt rather than saw the sword swish towards her neck. Jasmine simply bent backward. Snarling when his sword encountered no resistance the boy stumbled forward.

Still starling the boy hissed, “You will fear my name, girly, you will fear the name Richard Mcclellan. You will fear me!”

Jasmine with quick efficiency stepped past Richard’s guard and put her knives to his belly, stopping him in his tracks.

Jasmine smiled and said, “Maybe one day but not today.”

The tall leather clad man walked up and said, “That was some fighting, girl. Come meet the boy from Senly and we’ll go tell your parents.”

“My mother, just my mom,” Jasmine sighed.

“She’ll be all the more proud.”

When Jasmine’s mother opened the door to see a boy and three men standing on her step she assumed the worst, and her face said so plainly.

“Miss, its not what you assume. I’m Lord Cindly. May we come in?” The tall man said.

Janet still looked doubtful, but unbarred the way in, saying “Yes m’lord.”

Rubbing his palms together Lord Cindly began, “Miss, your daughter has an unusual talent for arms. In fact she beat the best boy in town.”

“She got in a fight!” she looked even more angry than if Jasmine was dating a boy.

“Well, we had to make them fight, it was the only way to test them,” the lord explained awkwardly.

“You had them fight each other!”

“In the prophecy it said that the hero would be good at arms so the king figured it would be the best way.”

“Well if the all-knowing king said it’s the best way that’s all nice and fine. It’s not his child going through it!”

“Um… well, Prince Jonathan is.”

“Why are you here?”

“To let your dau-”


“To let Jasmine pack, and tell you that she is to go to the capital.”

“Well then you men make yourselves comfortable and my other sons and daughters will give you some refreshments. I’m going to help Jasmine pack.”

“Thank you Miss…”


“Miss Lessadaugher.”

“Jasmine…” Janet said.

“Yes, Mama?”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too, Mama.”

Since Lord Cindly had said to bring any weapons she had, Jasmine fished out of her room three short swords, two long swords, a harness of ten knives, a fold out knife, a knife to put in her belt buckle, and her copies of the Knives of Despair.

“Well, I am surprised at the amount of weapons your mother lets you have,” Lord Cindly boomed.

“Mama never let me have any weapons, Lord. I snuck them in.”

“I should have guessed. Let us be off!”


[Look for chapter two next week]

Martin Luther King Jr.

This is a guest post by Allison. She is one of my students and wrote this in honor of Dr. King.

Minister Martin Luther King, Jr. preaching at an eventThis weekend is a very special weekend, not only because we don’t have school Monday but also because its Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday! Martin Luther King Jr. was a very important man in his generation and now ours. Born January 15, 1929. He was an American pastor, activist , humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights movement.  we celebrate him because of the the way he changed  the way America viewed and treated the minority. segregation caused various races to be separate, this means different schools,hotels,and even different water fountains.M.L.k changed the way we thought about our fellow humans with his ” i have a dream ” speech. M.L.K received  various Awards for his action like the Nobel Peace Prize (1964) Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977) and Congressional Gold Medal(2004) as you can see he even got recognized after his assassination on April 4,1968 (age 39) Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.

HAPPY Martin Luther King, Jr. day! thanks for reading.    for more info

Japanese Poetry and Minecraft

I’ve had a strong desire to use Minecraft for learning about medieval Japan for quite some time. I’ve always thought that the environments generated in Minecraft worlds often have a very Japanese familiarity to them. Last December I finally acted on my long held desire and created a unit to teach medieval Japanese history concepts while emphasizing the role of social structure through both visual and written narrative.

I asked my students to choose and then research the lifestyle and role of a citizen selected from one of the following hierarchical classes:

  • Kuge Class – Emperor, Shogun
  • Buke Class – Daimyos (Lords), Hatamotos, Samurai
  • Heimin Class – peasants, artisans, merchants, monks, thieves
  • Eta Class – butchers, undertakers, dung haulers, ninja (not the Hollywood version)

They were then to write an original poem from the perspective of that citizen. During this time period, tanka (aka waka) poems were very popular. Similar to haiku, syllables were important. The syllabic pattern in Japanese for tanka is 5-7-5-7-7.

Tanka poems place emphasis on the environment and emotions – a natural bridge to connect poetic verse and model landscapes in Minecraft.

Here is an example of a poem one of my students completed. If you are a teacher, or otherwise interested in more details, you should read my Minecraft blog HERE.

Shining Sun

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Jerboa’s Beautiful Tail

What a busy last couple of weeks we have had. My class just finished making a video using Minecraft to tell a short story written by a friend of mine, Robert Walton. We were inspired to make the video by another friend of mine named Adam who made a video called When Stampy Came to Tea.

Our video is called Jerboa’s Beautiful Tail and tells the story of how a jerboa ( a rat-like creature found in the Sahara Desert) got its funny looking tail. The story is told through the eyes of the great West African King, Mansa Musa. You can read the story for free here.

We had a great time trying to figure out how to make this story into a video using the standard blocks and characters available in Minecraft. You will need to watch it to see what we substituted for a jerboa!

Teachers, you can see the entire process we went through and lesson plan by visiting my Minecraft in Education blog.