Ursula K. Le Guin writes a fable of Occupy Wall Street

Illustration for article titled Ursula K. Le Guin writes a fable of Occupy Wall Street

If you've been wondering just what's wrong with unemployed people, and why they won't just go get a job, then Ursula K. Le Guin has some answers for you. In the time-honored tradition of fantasists and fabulists, she's phrased her answers in the form of a fable.


Her story "Ninety Nine Weeks: A Fairy Tale" is just as political and confrontational as Vonda McIntyre's story from the same site a while back.

Top image: Detail from Fairy Godmother by Miss Mary Potter on Deviant Art

Here's how Le Guin's story begins:

Once upon a time there was a poor woodcutter who lived with his wife and their daughter and son in a cottage at the edge of a forest. He loved his trade, and worked hard at it. But most of the land belonged to rich ogres, who kept the forests for their own use. Firewood was so expensive that ordinary people had begun to heat their houses with coal. The woodcutter went from door to door offering timber or firewood, but again and again he was turned away. His wife was lame and could not walk far, though she worked hard and well, keeping the kitchen garden and the house. The daughter and son went to the village school. Young Janet looked after the mayor's wife's babies every afternoon when school was out, and young Bob earned a penny here and there doing odd jobs. That bit of money the children could bring home was all the family had now, and every penny had to go for rent to their ogre landlord. They had no new clothes or shoes, and ate only from their garden. Their life had grown hard, and winter was coming on.

It really gets interesting once the unemployment fairy shows up. [Book View Cafe, thanks Kelly!]


Great story.

Ursula K. Le Guin is just one of the many writers supporting OWS : [occupywriters.com]

I really like the Lemony Snicket text in that page.