Students hear a story about trustworthiness and loyalty. They discuss these concepts with questions at the end of the story.
Tell the students that you’re going to read them a short story and then ask them questions about it. Advise them that loyalty and honesty sometimes conflict. Tell them to think about this as they listen to the story. Read “A Public Scene with Eugene” on the next page and tell them that this story shows how doing the right thing isn’t always easy. Then ask them the following discussion questions:
- What would be the most trustworthy thing for Eugene’s boss to do at this stage?
- It’s been said there are two types of loyalty: “dog loyalty” and “cat loyalty.”
- The first kind is about being loyal only to your master; the second means being loyal to the house. How does this relate to the story? Is one kind of loyalty more trustworthy than the other?
- What could the townspeople do to uncover the truth and reach a fair solution?
- After hearing Eugene’s explanation, do you think the townspeople admired Eugene for doing the right thing?
- Should employees be loyal to their companies? How far should this go?
- What would you say to Eugene?
- What would be the most trustworthy thing for the president of Sawmill to do?
- What would be the fairest outcome overall?
Adapted from “The Classics Modernized,” by William Roufberg (Kingston, NJ). Used with permission.