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The Stub Book - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, Spain(1833 – 1891)

The Stub Book - Four Levels | The Flax-Golden Tales

The Stub Book

Literal Comprehension: This is a Spanish story written by Pedro Antonio de Alarcon. This story deals with a laborious farmer’s love for his products; fruits and vegetables. The main character or farmer of the story Uncle Buscabeatas plans to take his forty of best pumpkins to market in the morning that cuts them from their stalks the night before. But he finds in the morning that they all stolen. He goes to the market in Cadiz and is able to identify his own products. He shows the stalks as the proofs as he had put safely them cut from the top of each pumpkin plant. He showed those stems fitted exactly on the top of each of them. Just as the authenticity of a receipt from the tax collector’s book from which it was torn he proved that those pumpkins were him. So the main character Uncle Buscabeatas has ingeniously compared “sub-book” with his own authentic product. With the help of the police, he arrests the thief; he got back the money from the thief.

Interpretation: Though the subject matter of the story is simple, its theme and presentation are very important. Simply this seems a story of a pumpkin farmer and a thief but the moral it gives is very useful and memorable. It depicts the value of one’s own creation or products. How dear and valuable in one’s output of hard labor and no can grab it from his hand is the theme of the story. This story tries to tell us that the true gain of hard work is sweet and stealing and cheating is punishable at any cost. For example, Uncle Buscabeatas, who had produced good pumpkins in his garden, they were very much dear for him. Uncle Fulano stole pumpkins from his neighbor’s garden and he was punished. It also teaches us to enjoy own labor, work, and product and that we will get a return but who tries to cheat and stealing without labor will be punished. The title of the story and theme of the story meet when the farmer shows the stalks as the green book of tax-collector. For a farmer, such stalks can be like the green books of tax-collectors.

Critical Thinking: This story falls under critical thinking but it has a simple plot and theme. The author chooses an interesting subject and characters. The farmer Buscabeatas represents a successful person in his vegetable production. He loves his pumpkins and tomatoes as his own children and gives them name also. Like him, everyone can enjoy the gracefulness and good returning from their hard work. One loves and feels pride in one’s own work. The writer cleverly presents the story. He compares the stalks of pumpkin with the stub books. Normally the stalks are nothing just wastage but when the time comes they are very powerful proofs. It is a very interesting fact that they work as stub books. The tactful presentation, the writer in solving problems like uncle Buscabeatas is admirable. This story makes aware that even very simple and useless things also can have great value in time. Otherwise, labor is very important and no one can snatch it.

Assimilation: For a creator, everything that he/she creates is equally dear and valuable either a pumpkin for a farmer or a child for a father or mother. For a writer his/her books are dear and a poet loves his poems. At all they are their creation or products. One’s product is the result or output of his/her hard labor. The output of labor is sweet and cheating is punishable. After reading this story I came to know that a pumpkin or a child; both are equally dear for its creator or producer. Like Buscabeatas, I also love my creations. Now I have understood the value of labor like Uncle Buscabeatas. Only a laborious person can get success and no cheater can grasp his labor.

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