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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:

He crept up to the front windows and stuck his head in: there was no one there. He could always detect the presence of anyone in a room. He put one foot over the window-sill and straddled it.

His mother had told him over and over how his master would give him to the big mastiff if he ever found him `meddling.' Samson had got too near the mastiff's kennel once, and had felt his terrible breath in his face. He thought about that, but he pulled in his other foot.

Through the dark he found his way to the Thing, to its mouth. He touched it softly, and it answered softly, kindly. He shivered and stood still. Then he began to feel it all over, ran his finger-tips along the


My Antonia
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:

he my godfather? he wouldn't have anybody but me bring him his food.' Perotte declares that he smiles when she comes; but you might as well say the sun shines in a fog; he's as gloomy as a cloudy day."

"But," I said to him, "you excite our curiosity without satisfying it. Do you know what brought him there? Was it grief, or repentance; is it a mania; is it crime, is it--"

"Eh, monsieur, there's no one but my father and I who know the real truth. My late mother was servant in the family of a lawyer to whom Cambremer told all by order of the priest, who wouldn't give him absolution until he had done so--at least, that's what the folks of the port say. My poor mother overheard Cambremer without trying to;

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

of them and opened the door. There were shelves inside, and upon one of the shelves which was about on a level with his tin chin the Emperor discovered a Head -- it looked like a doll's head, only it was larger, and he soon saw it was the Head of some person. It was facing the Tin Woodman and as the cupboard door swung back, the eyes of the Head slowly opened and looked at him. The Tin Woodman was not at all surprised, for in the Land of Oz one runs into magic at every turn.

"Dear me!" said the Tin Woodman, staring hard. "It seems as if I had met you, somewhere, before. Good


The Tin Woodman of Oz
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Adventure by Jack London:

They were deep in a game of billiards the next morning, after the eleven o'clock breakfast, when Viaburi entered and announced, -

"Big fella schooner close up."

Even as he spoke, they heard the rumble of chain through hawse- pipe, and from the veranda saw a big black-painted schooner, swinging to her just-caught anchor.

"It's a Yankee," Joan cried. "See that bow! Look at that elliptical stern! Ah, I thought so--" as the Stars and Stripes fluttered to the mast-head.

Noa Noah, at Sheldon's direction, ran the Union Jack up the flag- staff.