Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Story: The Philosopher and the Fortune Teller

 (Crystal ball. Web Source.)

Story. At a busy market, a philosopher saw purple curtains with stars and crescent moons in the window. The hanging sign read “100% Correct Predictions!” The philosopher was hesitant on going in. He has been out of luck lately and wonders if his life holds anything else for him except a nagging wife and bratty children. Right after thinking about his annoying family and his hardship, he blindly runs through the fortune teller shop’s threshold.

“Hello there, philosopher,” greeted the fortune teller who sat at a table covered in the same purple cloth as the curtains. On top of the table, there was a crystal ball.

“How did you know I was a philosopher?” the philosopher questioned suspiciously.

The fortune teller said, “There is no need to ask that because it is a waste of time. Now, come and I will tell you what you can do for your life of dread.”

The philosopher walked to the fortune teller’s table and sat in the chair in front of her and the table.

“First, before you tell me what I need to do, I need to test you first,” declared the philosopher.

“You have a nagging wife who always tells you to find a real job as opposed to your job as a philosopher, which does not get much. Even though you are passionate about it, you realize that being a philosopher will not get you far. So, you are finding a way to get income or else you will dwindle your life away in sorrow and dread or go mad from your wife’s nagging and kill her,” the fortune teller said without missing a beat.

The philosopher was amazed at her knowledge. He perked up and eagerly said, “You are 100% Correct like your sign! Now, tell me what I must do.”

“With your knowledge, you can make things that are magical. You know that. I know that. However, using them at home won’t be of much use. You have to find people and show them what you are capable of. Now, there is a priest who wishes to learn something from a philosopher. This is where you come in. Borrow money from that priest. You will see him at dusk by the pier. He will be in all black. And later, return that money. You can either keep the money or use it. However, you must return the same exact of amount you borrowed. The priest will be shocked that you were able to pay him back. Then, he will ask you how you did it. You will talk about your powers and the priest will become interested. At this time, you will have him under your thumb. He will do anything you ask if it deals with making precious metals.”

“Is that all I have to do?” asked the philosopher.

“That is not every little step you have to do. You have to think of the other steps yourself. I can't give you all the answers,” said the fortune teller.

The philosopher was still skeptical. This was his first time talking to a fortune teller. Also, he wondered if priests would be so gullible. He knew that tricking a priest was not a good thing to do as well. He said his thanks and stood up to leave.

“That will be 30 pounds,” the fortune teller quickly said.

“What?! That is absurd!” the philosopher shouted.

“Give it to me in five days or else your future will become worse,” said the fortune teller.

After hearing this, the philosopher ran away. He was surprised how much it was. He scolded himself. “Stupid! Stupid! How could you do that?! You knew you had no money but you still went there! Now, where will you get the money?!”

After he thought of the different paths he could take, he decided to follow the fortune teller’s advice or else he would be dead. Plus, he would get money too and perhaps his wife would finally stop nagging at him. He looked towards the direction of the fortune teller’s shop and started towards the pier to wait for his target.

Author’s Note. My story happens before the story, The Priest who Learned to be a Philosopher. In the original story, the priest was tricked by a false canon, a member of a clergy, who asked to borrow money from the priest. Then, the canon asked to return the favor by showing the priest a technique in philosophy. He showed the priest how to “make” silver and copper while using all the sources from the priest. He added a special coal to make special effects. At the end, the false canon took all the stuff that they made and left the priest with “knowledge.”

For my story, I wanted to write about a fortune teller and write a story that happened before the original story. Therefore, I came up with this story. I believe I changed the canon to a philosopher. Although he was a false canon, it was not specified what he was. Also, I added some background to the philosopher. Aside from this, instead of the philosopher returning the favor, the priest wanted to ask the philosopher about his techniques.

Bibliography. “The Priest who Learned to be a Philosopher” from Canterbury Tales by Eva March Tappan; link to reading online


  1. I love how you decided to write a prequel to set up the story you read, instead of simply retelling it. Also, I’m always a fan of an open-ended stories, so I liked how it closed on the promise of more to come, but still left plenty of room for different expectations of what might happen next. Nice job on this!

  2. I really liked how you wrote a prequel to the original story! Not very many people are creative enough to be able to do it! I thought it flowed wonderfully into the originally story! If I hadn't know you wrote it I probably would have just assumed it was part of the Canterbury Tales. Overall I thought you did a great job!

  3. Hi Stephanie! I like how you made your story a prequel for the original story. I personally have not seen anybody else do that for their stories, so I think it made for a really unique twist and fun for the audience to read. Your Author’s Note is a great length too. It gives the audience a good amount of information to understand the background of the original story.