The Children’s Story by James Clavell

When I think of James Clavell, I think of historical fiction, I think of fat books, I think of samurai. Basically, I think Shogun, with a little line over the ‘u’. It’s no surprise to learn that he wrote other stories too, why wouldn’t he have? I just never gave it much thought.

A friend of ours was visiting over the weekend and we were in Cafe Espera talking about the American education system, specifically about using propaganda on children (instead of teaching them to see through propaganda) in the form of making children Recite the Pledge of Allegiance and Salute the American Flag, all capitalised, about how open-minded my girlfriend is and still her first, instinctual reaction to criticism is, Don’t touch my country, and about how much worse it’s going to get in the coming years with a president who wants the children “saluting… always saluting”, and threatens to strip the citizenship of anyone who disrespects the flag, when our friend asked if we’d read The Children’s Story. By whom? Clavell. Don’t know who that is. James Clavell. Um… Shogun, with the little line over the ‘u’. Ah… are you sure? Yes. Same guy. Yes. Okay.

It’s a short story that’s supposed to be on point. I found it online, someone had posted it under the assumption it’s in the public domain because he had found it online. I’m less sure. Sounds like turtles all the way down to me. But I’m going to read it as it’s a topic that I find very interesting and even more important.

-Reading the Why


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