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Young Goodman Brown

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FC: Young Goodman Brown A short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne Modified for children by Nichole Handwerk

1: Once upon a time, in a Salem Village there was a man named Young Goodman Brown. On a fall day, he exchanged a parting kiss his young wife and bade her farewell. She kissed him goodbye and called to him, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons in her cap.

2: "My love and my Faith," said young Goodman Brown, "this is the first night I must leave you for a journey." | "Then God bless you! said Faith, with the pink ribbons in her hair, "and may you find all well when you come back."

3: After they had parted, young Goodman Brown said to himself, "Poor Faith, I feel horrible for leaving her for the evening. I thought as she spoke that I could feel trouble in her voice, as if a dream had warned her of what work will be done tonight. She is a blessed angel on earth, and after this night I will cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven."

4: Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through and closed immediately behind. It was as lonely as could be.

5: His head being turned back, he passed a crook in the road, and looking forward again, beheld the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, seated at the foot of an old tree. He arose, at Goodman Brown's approach, and walked onward, side by side with him. "You are late," said the man.

6: As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable, was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent.

8: "Too far, too far! exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. "My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians, since the days of the martyrs. And I shall be the first of the name of Brown, that ever took this path and kept--"

9: The elder man interrupted Goodman Brown saying, "I have been well acquainted with your family as with ever aone among the Puritans. It was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's war. They were both my good friends. I would fain be friends with you for their sake."

10: "Wickedness or not," said the traveller with the twisted staff, "I have a very general acquaintance here in New England. The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me; the selectmen, of divers towns, make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest. The governor and I, too--but these are state secrets."

11: Ahead in the woods, Goodman Brown saw a woman on the path who had taught him catechism in his youth. Goodman Brown did not want the woman to see him with his secret companion, so he bid him farewell but watched as the traveller with the twisted staff walked towards the woman.

12: The traveller came within a staff's length of the woman and touched her neck with the serpent's tail. "The devil!" screamed the woman. She told the traveller that her broomstick had disappeared and she was aware that there was a nice young man to be taken into communion that night. The traveller threw his staff down at her feet, where perhaps it assumed life, being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to Egyptian Magi. Goodman Brown was so astonished that he cast his eyes up, and when he looked down he was alone with his fellow traveller.

13: After witnessing the previous events Goodman Brown said to his fellow traveller, "My mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this errand." The traveller told him to sit and rest while he thought his decision through. He left his staff to help move Goodman Brown along when he decided to continue on his journey.

14: Goodman Brown sat for a few moments by the roadside and applauded himself for making the right decision. He was thinking about how he could meet the minister the next day with a clear conscience when suddenly he heard the sound of hoof tramps through the woods.

15: Goodman Brown swore he could hear the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin, jogging along quietly, as they known to do on their travels. | "Of the two, reverend Sir," said the voice of the deacon's, I had rather miss an ordination dinner than tonight's meeting. They tell me that some of our community are to be here from afar. They know almost as much deviltry as the best of us."

17: Goodman could not believe his own ears. Especially after he heard the ministers solemn reply warning the Deacon they should not be late! Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree, for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburthened with the heavy sickness of his heart. Yet there was a blue arch, and the stars brightening in it. "With Heaven above and Faith below, I will stand firm against the Devil!" cried Goodman Brown.

18: Suddenly a black mass of cloud swept swiftly northward and with the wind came the confused and doubtful sound of voices.

19: Goodman Brown heard many familiar voices, including those of pious and ungodly men and women from his town. There was one voice, of a young woman, uttering lamentations, yet with an uncertain sorrow, and entreating for some favor, which perhaps, it would grieve her to obtain. And all the unseen multitude, both of saints and sinners, seemed to encourage her onward.

20: "Faith!" shouted Goodman Brown, in a voice of agony and desparation. There was a scream, drowned immediately in a loud murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown. But something fluttered lightly down through the air, and caught the branch of a tree. The young man seized it and beheld a pink ribbon!

21: "My Faith is gone!" cried Goodman Brown. He became maddened with despair and set forth again, so quickly that he seemed to fly along the forest path. He sped along his course until he came upon a red light. A clearing had been set on fire, at the hour of midnight.

22: He paused and heard the swell of what seemed a hymn, rolling solemnly from a distance. He stole forward until the light glared full upon his eyes. He found four blazing pines, their tops aflame, like candles at an evening meeting. They surrounded an altar. Surrounding the altar appeared faces that were familiar to Goodman Brown. Church members, the governor, wives of honored husbands and fair young girls. "But where is Faith? thought Goodman Brown; and as hope came into his heart he trembled.

24: The converts were told to come forth. Out of the woods stepped none other than Faith! They looked at one another. Goodman trembled before the altar. "Faith! Faith! cried the husband. "Look up to Heaven, and resist the wicked one!"

25: Whether Faith obeyed, he knew not. Hardy had he spoken, when he found himself amid calm night and solitude, listening to the roar of the wind, which died heavily away through the forest. Whether Faith obeyed, he did not know. Hardly had he spoken when he found himself amid calm night and solitude, listening to the roar of the wind, which died heavily away through the forest.

26: The next morning, young Goodman Brown walked slowly into the village street. Many of the people he had just seen the night before were tending to their daily business - all as if nothing had happened. Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch meeting? Be it so, if you will. But, alas! It was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown.

27: A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, distrustful if not desparate man did he become, from the night of that fearful dream. And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave, a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a godly procession, besides neighbors, not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone for his dying hour was gloom. The End.

28: IMAGES CITED: http://scarlet.nscc.mass.edu/mmd/media/2404/MMD188l.jpg http://www.griefsjourney.com/images/pagemaster/lngrd.jpg http://images.elfwood.com/art/m/e/mer/saying_goodbye1.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v492/picperfect/bowholders/sophiebh.jpg http://gobelins-burgas.hit.bg/index_files/Earth%20Angel.jpg http://l.yimg.com/g/images/spaceball.gif http://farm1.static.flickr.com/222/477226666_d942362980.jpg?v=0 http://images.buycostumes.com/mgen/merchandiser/21507.jpg http://farm1.static.flickr.com/130/356200733_3a2a612b1b.jpg http://www.panoramio.com/photos/original/1846534.jpg http://www.pregnancynet.org/images/CenterPics/TempCtrPics/girl_woods.jpg http://www.desktopscenes.com/Scenes%20from%20Muir%20Woods%20(2003)/A%20Comfortable%20Resting%20Place.jpg http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/horses/shagya/SHAGYA9.jpg http://www.library.cornell.edu/olinuris/ref/witchcraft1.jpg

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  • By: Nichole H.
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  • Title: Young Goodman Brown
  • A short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne Story adapted for children by Nichole Handwerk
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  • Published: about 8 years ago

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