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Banned

~photo source~
The door of Hannah's upstairs bedroom slammed open, and there stood her father, filling the doorway with his large frame.  Glowering, he stormed over to the bed where Hannah had been reading by candlelight, and grabbed the book from her hand before she had time to react.

"What do you think you are doing?" he roared.  Hannah shrank down into the covers, not in fear, but in shame for having been caught red handed with a book that she knew she was wasn't supposed to have.

"I've told you clearly, daughter, there is only one book I want you to be reading, and that's The Good Book", he said, handing her the well-worn Bible from atop her dresser.  "It isn't right or proper for you to be filling your mind with the evils of the world, you fill it with the good things of the Lord."

With that, he turned and left the room, taking the banned book with him.  Hannah knew that he would toss it in the fireplace downstairs, and she felt sad that she would have to explain it's loss to the friend who had loaned it to her.  She didn't see where it was such a bad book, just an adventure story involving a girl who was on a journey to visit every state in the country.  Hannah was fascinated by travel stories and tales of other places far away from the small rural religious community where she was growing up.  She also didn't think it fair that only girls were banned from reading anything other than the Bible, the thinking being that they didn't need more education or worldly awareness, since their roles would be to become future wives and mothers in the community.  There would be no formal schooling or outside jobs for them.

Without a doubt Hannah loved the Lord, and she wanted to live her life in a manner that would be honorable and pleasing to Him and her parents too, but she also loved learning and had a strong desire to experience more of life than was available to her at the present. 

That night was to mark a turning point in Hannah's life, it was the night she vowed that when she reached the age of adulthood and the time came to confirm her membership in the church in which she'd been raised, she was going to make the hard choice to take the other road - to gather her belongings and leave the community and family that she loved.   She would head out into the world to make her own way, where she could read all the books she wanted and experience all wonders life might hold.  Hannah knew that doing so would result in her being banned from returning home forever and she wept at the thought of leaving everything behind, but she had to follow her heart.

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This story was written for Two Shoes Tuesday here at my blog
where the prompts this week are Beautiful and Ban
 
and for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom 
Tomorrowlady
Drop by and share one of your stories with us!

16 comments:

  1. I was so lucky as a child as my mother worked in a library and I read just what I liked! After WW2 Nicholas Monserrat wrote the novel "The Cruel Sea" about a British navy crew in the North Atlantic. I was able to read the unexpurgated version (even though a children's version had been published). I have been forever indebted to my parents for allowing me to be exposed to the truth in life in an trusting manner...which is what good parenthood is all about.

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    1. You were blessed indeed, Old Egg. As I child I loved our small town library and devoured everything there was to read. By my teens I begged permission to read from the adult section and was given it, but then the librarian contacted my parents, concerned that the books I was choosing from the best seller list were too advanced for my age. It was very upsetting to me, as I wanted to learn so much about life and how people were dealing with it, I still do! :-)

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  2. It is good and important to go this way. Because only when you know a lot of things, you can make informed decisions for your own way, for the Bible, for our Lord. I think.
    Ignorance creates only dependencies.

    Thanks for your visit, greetings from Germany

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    1. I agree with you Mascha, we need the information and experience to make the right decisions for our lives, if we accept what we are told blindly we can easily be led astray. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. That's one thing we believe very strongly, everone deserves a good education.

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    1. I totally agree with that Mimi! If you don't have a good education your will encounter barriers your whole life. Denying someone an education is sentencing them to stay within a defined box,, with little possibility of growing.

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  4. I was lucky to grow up in a family that loved reading - both my parents read a lot, and it was only natural that I followed. I still remember the hours I spent in our public library - I actually still dream about the rooms there sometimes! I can't imagine a life without books or being kept from reading the books I like.

    Your writing is beautiful, I so enjoyed reading this. Thank you for inviting me to link up my post - I did!

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    1. You were lucky Carole! I have loved libraries since I was small too. In fact I worked at our town library while I was in high school. I can still see it and smell that wonderful wood paneling and bound paper smell in my mind! Thank you for the compliment, I love to write simple little tales like this. I'm delighted that you've come to share your post with us too!

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  5. This is a true to life story of days gone past. But I think in some places Hannah's story may still be happening. Harsh rules, even with good intent, sometimes cause the rebellion that Hannah was planning as soon as she could. I am thankful I was encouraged to read everything I could. (Except the Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins, which I, of course, sneakily read).

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    1. You are right Val that this kind of scenario still happens. I feel that parents who excessively limit their child's ability to satisfy their curiosity and quest for knowledge do permanent harm and often incite rebellion as you noted. Better to provide some guidance and encouragement. You were blessed! I had to smile at the last line, if there is a will - children will always find a way! ;-)

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  6. I have always loved reading. When I was in first grade Daddy started taking me to the library with him. It was like a big toy store to me. I could hardly wait until I could read books without pictures. Sadly, there are families even today that limit the education and joy of children and books. I think young children and some teens need guidance in there choices but for the most part I say let em be.

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    1. I find it interesting that most of us who write developed and early and powerful love of reading! I was eager to move on past the picture books in the library too! :-) I agree that parental guidance is a good thing, John's daughter is an avid reader, and has been very involved in helping her daughter choose all kinds of age and content appropriate reading through the years - a definite win-win situation. Sunday afternoons at their house are family reading time, I love that!

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  7. Such a wonderful story and photo. Thanks so much for joining in with me on Wednesday.

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    1. Thank You, Linda Kay! This picture brought back memories of reading under the covers with a flashlight at night as a child, with my Dad sternly warning us to "get the lights out and get to sleep"! :-)

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  8. I am sure glad my childhood wasn't like hers. How awful. Well written!

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  9. Thank you Kathe, me too! Though my Mom did get a bit perturbed by me being parked in a chair with a book when I was supposed to be helping out around the house. :-)

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)