"In the fairy tale an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. A box is opened, and all evils fly out. A word is forgotten, and cities perish. A lamp is lit, and love flies away. A flower is plucked, and human lives are forfeited. An apple is eaten, and the hope of God is gone."

G.K. Chesterton, "The Ethics of Elfland" in Orthodoxy

There is nothing like a fairy tale for assuring one that the world is worth living in. As a child learns to be responsible, to be considerate, to wait her turn, to learn to do without--in short, the whole bothersome business of growing up--the world presents itself as a more and more plain place. But fairy tales keep another hope alive. The world may, it just may, be full of amazing things: fantastical creatures and characters, impossible challenges that can nevertheless be accomplished, magical fruits and healing waters, and mysteries no science could ever master.

And yet, fairy tales are also riddles: they speak their truths directly, but almost too much so: they are so obedient to their own logic that the logic of them can be lost on us. Joining these two truths together, we can see that nothing is more delightful or useful than reflecting on the meaning of fairy tales in the company of others.

And that is just what will do. This is a session for your children (ages 8-18) to read and reflect on a couple of fairy tales together. The two tales, both by Oscar Wilde ("The Selfish Giant" and "The Happy Prince"), will provide the scaffolding for a conversation about the difficulty and necessity of doing good things. They will take us to the boundaries of joy and sorrow.

In this brief hour, your child will laugh, will be challenged, will lead me and others to places we do not expect and cannot predict. This is a practicum in reading well, and it is no less a gathering for lovers of the wildness of possibility.

Children are encouraged, at your discretion, to bring a mug of hot chocolate and a favorite snack to enjoy during the session.

Sign your child up for this unique, free conversation!