Friday, January 26, 2007

Keenog Stan

A man travelled to a distant land. As he travelled through the country he came to a beautiful city. He was so impressed by the buildings he saw that he stopped a man in the street and said, "Who built this beautiful city?" The man replied, "Keenog Stan."

The traveller came to a wonderful garden. Again he asked a passer-by, "Who designed this wonderful garden?" The woman replied, "Keenog Stan."

In the garden he saw a glorious rose bush. The scent was the most delicious he had ever come across. He asked a gardener, "Who grew this beautiful rose?" The gardener answered him with, "Keenog Stan." The traveller thought that this Keenog Stan must be a very remarkable person.

And so it went on. Every wonderful thing that the traveller saw had been designed, built, developed, invented by Keenog Stan - which meant "I do not understand" in the language of the country.

I was very impressed with this fable when I first encountered it in Wide Range Readers: Blue Book 5 at age eight or so. Does anyone else remember these readers? There were also Green Books which we didn't use. I was sure that Green Books were sure to be much more interesting than our Blue Books and were probably kept for the exclusive use of those sophisticated Protestants.

16 comments:

beowulf said...

We burnt them. Lit massive bonfires and danced about naked, our bodies warmed by the flames of excess our hearts gladdened by another days' oppression.

Nelly said...

Kee. Nog. Stan.

Anonymous said...

have you goggled the wide range readers - i did once (nip and fluff)and accessed some stuff xxxxx

Mudflapgypsy said...

I have memories of blue reading books and green ones. Does that mean I am sofisti, sphysti,sophstee nevermind.......

Nelly said...

I'm sure you are very sophisticated Mudflapgypsy.

As for me - when I was a child 'sophisticated' was always something 'other'.

Hageltoast said...

lol, i like that. :)

Mudflapgypsy said...

Well I've always been told I was weird. "other" sounds like a compliment. ;-)

Nelly said...

I hate being called weird. What those name-callers really mean is that they're dull and boring...

Mudflapgypsy said...

Right on, Nelly.
They do seem to fit that description every time.

Anonymous said...

I well remember those books and the story of Kee nog stan from 30 years ago- (I told it to my step daughter several years ago). Seem to recall there were also stories about Dr Barnado and the great fire of London in that book too.

Nelly said...

You've a far better memory than I Anon.

teod-karv said...

I remember reading Kee Nogstan in my primary school about 1960-62, I think. I really liked it and have often wondered if I'd see the book again... So far I haven't!

Anonymous said...

hmmm, I was talking to my Indonesian friend, on her verandah - balcony, overlooking the rice padi's in North ubud and suddenly Keenog Stan seemed important, to I Google it,and here I am!

So glad to see there is a kind of Fan Club.

Those stories intoxicated my plasticine mind! Fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Am learning Hindi and a word I'm trying to master made me google keenog stan. Read it at primary school in the 80s's and am sad kids now just don't get those treasures.....

Nelly said...

I agree Anon. Children's readers seem somewhat less today. They did call them Wide Range Readers.

Errick James said...

I READ THESE BOOKS WAY BACK IN 1973.I THOUGHT THAT KEENOG STAN CAME FROM GREEN EGGS AND HAM-MY FAVOURITE EVER BOOK.HOWEVER KEENOG STAN MAY BE FROM AESOP'S FABLES.I THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE STILL DOING THOSE BLUE AND GREEN BOOKS.FORTY TWO YEARS AGO-MRS WALLWORK'S CLASS!WHAT A FANTASTIC MEMORY THAT THAT IS.1973!MAGIC DAYS.