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Today's Stichomancy for Enrico Fermi

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:

away and amuse yourself. Don't stay."

"I'll go away if I must; but I shan't amuse myself. You know that I only live when I am near you."

He stood up to bid her good night.

"Is that one of the things you always say to women?"

"I have said it before, but I don't think I ever came so near meaning it," he answered with a smile. There were no warm lights in her eyes; only a dreamy, absent look.

"Good night. I adore you. Sleep well," he said, and he kissed her hand and went away.

She stayed alone in a kind of reverie--a sort of stupor. Step


Awakening & Selected Short Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:

Laughing Water kind-I mean the modern Indian--the kind that takes Greek prizes in colleges and scalps the half-back on the other side in football games. The kind that eats macaroons and tea in the afternoons with the daughter of the professor of biology, and fills up on grasshoppers and fried rattlesnake when they get back to the ancestral wickiup.

"Well, they ain't so bad. I like 'em better than most foreigners that have come over in the last few hundred years. One thing about the Indian is this: when he mixes with the white race he swaps all his own vices for them of the pale-faces--and he retains all his own virtues. Well, his virtues are enough to call out the reserves whenever he lets


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The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

"I shall never be resigned."

So at last spring had come, and Henri and the great spring drive. The Germans had not drained the inundation, nor had they broken through to Calais. And it is not to be known here how much this utter failure had been due to the information Henri had secured before he was wounded.

One day in his bed Henri received a visit from the King, and was left lying with a decoration on his breast and a beatific, if somewhat sheepish, expression on his face. And one night the village was bombarded, and on Henri's refusing to be moved to the cellar Sara Lee took up a determined stand in his doorway, until at last he made a most humiliating move for safety.

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 Animal Farm by George Orwell:

hitherto--received the order of "Animal Hero, First Class." This was merely a legend which had been spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. So far from being decorated, he had been censured for showing cowardice in the battle. Once again some of the animals heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon able to convince them that their memories had been at fault.

In the autumn, by a tremendous, exhausting effort--for the harvest had to be gathered at almost the same time--the windmill was finished. The machinery had still to be installed, and Whymper was negotiating the purchase of it, but the structure was completed. In the teeth of every difficulty, in spite of inexperience, of primitive implements, of bad luck


Animal Farm