Scarlet Ibis (by Hurst)

Looking for another short story to read this summer?  Check out The Scarlet Ibis by James Hurst

scarlet ibis

In this story, the narrator reflects on his memories of his younger brother, Doodle.  The story is told by reflecting on this moving experience with his disabled brother (with a lot of cool symbolism and rich words and just some great writing by Hurst).

It is a bit sad, but quite thought provoking –

Favorite line:

“I did not know then that pride is a wonderful, terrible thing, a seed that bears two vines, life and death.”

Teaching Tips:  

This is high school level reading. Without spoiling the story for you – just think that some say that the ibis is symbolic of Doodle – or any weaker group, country or entity… and how help to these groups is maybe fueled by power, pride, or selfish ambition.

Art connections: Complementary colors are pairs that when placed next to each other they pop! Complements are red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow and when together they form quite a nice friendship – making a nice contrast and reinforcing each other by bringing out a certain hue that is only seen when paired up.

Check out John James Audubon’s drawing of the scarlet ibis:

signature john-james-audubon-scarletibis

coloring sheet:scarlet-ibis-coloring sheet

First paragraph:

“It was in the clove of seasons, summer was dead but autumn had not yet been born, that the ibis lit in the bleeding tree. The flower garden was strained with rotting brown magnolia petals and ironweeds grew rank amid the purple phlox. The five o’clocks by the chimney still marked time, but the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle. The last graveyard flowers were blooming, and their smell drifted across the cotton field and through every room of our house, speaking softy the names of our dead.”

pdf is here:

or check out the post on the time4art blog! 🙂

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