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And she smiled with proud and naive joy

Aidan’s weekend homework was to read The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.

The only reason I knew was because I found the stapled photocopy as I did my Sunday backpack dive.

“Do you need to read this?”

“I don’t remember.”


She grabbed it from me. After tossing some bicker back and forth, she marched up the stairs. As an afterthought, I shouted, “You will like it!” right before her door closed.

Ten minutes later, she was downstairs, stuffing the story in her backpack. I wasn’t convinced she read it well in that short time, so I launched an oral exam.

Who were the main characters? Where was the story set? How did the two women know each other? Why was Mathilde miserable? How did she feel at the ball? What went wrong? How did they try to fix the situation, at first? What did they end up doing to replace the necklace? How did this affect Mathilde? What was the big twist at the end? How do you think the revelation made Mathilde feel? WHAT IS THE THEME?

Aidan answered all questions well. I knew she read it.

She resumed her Sunday sloth and I began to think. Uh-oh.

I am Mathilde.

I work myself to the bone sometimes, worrying about things which will be nothing more than paste when my story ends.

And she smiled with proud and naïve joy.

Mme. Forester, much moved, took her by both hands:—

“Oh, my poor Mathilde. But mine were false. At most they were worth five hundred francs!”

2 comments to And she smiled with proud and naive joy

  • Mom-of- Mopsy

    I’m impressed by both of you, Aidan for being a quick study (although, she had to be prodded to do it) and you for remembering it so well and even assuming a part of the story. I bet her teacher didn’t quiz the kids as well as you did her.

  • Gretchen, did you write reading textbooks in a life before children? Those are EXACTLY the reading comprehension questions that followed the stories in the textbooks I taught from.

    Madam, I applaud you.
    .-= Megan@SortaCrunchy´s last blog ..Abudance of Gratitude and an Invitation to Give =-.

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