Afraid of the Power of Learning

The man stared at them. Tears filled his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” Annie asked softly.

“I love reading and learning,” he said.

“So do I,” said Jack.

The man smiled. “You don’t understand! I am dressed as a farmer,” he said. “But in truth, I am a scholar!”

“What’s a scholar?” said Annie.

“We are great readers, learners, and writers,” he said. “We have long been the most honored citizens in China.”

The scholar’s smile faded.

“But now scholars are in danger,” he said. “And many of us have gone into hiding.”

“Why?” said Jack.

“The Dragon King is afraid of the power of books and learning,” said the scholar. “He wants people to think only what he wants them to think. Any day he may order the burning of the books!”

Annie gasped.

~Pope Osborne, Mary. Chapter 5: The Scholar.”, Magic Tree House #14: Day of the Dragon King. Scholastic, 1998, pages 27-29.


A Very Foolish Man, And Very Wretched

He seems to me a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the World — and [who would not] ever wish and long to reach that endless life where all shall be made clear.

~King Alfred the Great, Blostman, qtd. in “King Alfred the Great and Our Common Law” by Rev. Prof. Dr. F.N. Lee, Department of Church History, Queensland Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Brisbane, Australia, August 2000, pages 4-5


‘After all this time?’


~Dumbledore to Snape, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

The More That You Read

That more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

the more places you’ll go.

~Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

Knowledge is like a Bee

The honey is sweet, and so is knowledge, but knowledge is like the bee who made the honey, it has to be chased through the pages of a book!

~Patricia Polacco, Thank You, Mr. Falker

Anything Is Possible When People Believe In A Cause

“I just can’t believe that a bunch of trained soldiers would knowingly agree to kill innocent masses … all the while fearing they might get sick and die themselves.”

Sienna shot him a puzzled look.  “Robert, what do you think soldiers do when they go to war?  They kill innocent people and risk their death.  Anything is possible when people believe in a cause.”

~Dan Brown, Inferno, Chapter 50

My Poor Puffed-Up Poppinjay

‘You know,’ said Phineas Nigellus, even more loudly than Harry, ‘this is precisely why I loathed being a teacher!  Young people are so infernally convinced that they are absolutely right about everything.  Has it not occurred to you, my poor puffed-up popinjay, that there might be an excellent reason why the Headmaster of Hogwarts is not confiding every tiny detail of his plans to you?  Have you never paused, while feeling hard-done-by, to note that following Dumbedore’s orders has never yet led you into harm?  No.  No, like all young people, you are quite sure that you alone feel and think, you alone recognise danger, you alone are the only one clever enough to realise what the Dark Lord may be planning -‘

‘He is planning something to do with me, then?’ said Harry swiftly.

‘Did I say that?’ said Phineas Nigellus, idly examining his silk gloves.  ‘Now, if you will excuse me, I have better things to do than listen to adolescent agonising … good-day to you.’

And he strolled to the edge of his frame and out of sight.

~JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 “Christmas on the Closed Ward”