The 13 Clocks Sequence of Events

The 13 Clocks Sequence of Events
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Step by Step

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13 Clocks Lesson plans

The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

Lesson Plans by Ashley Trudeau

James Thurber’s tale, The 13 Clocks, is the perfect mix of fantasy, fiction, and the fairy tale genre. The evil Duke keeps Princess Saralinda under his grasp, while giving seemingly impossible tasks for her suitors. When Xingu (Zorn of Zorna) arrives, everything changes.




13 Clocks, The

Storyboard Description

The 13 Clocks Sequence of Events activity Thirteen Clocks

Storyboard Text

  • SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
  • EVENT ONE
  • "...the Duke decided he had murdered time, slain it with his sword, and wiped his bloody blade upon its beard and left it lying there, bleeding hours and minutes."
  • The Duke 'murders' time. He keeps Princess Saralinda locked in his castle and gives impossible tasks for her suitors.
  • EVENT TWO
  • "I make mistakes, but I am on the side of Good."
  • The Duke knows Xingu is Zorn of Zorna and he gives him a seeming impossible task for Saralinda's hand.
  • "I give you nine and ninety hours, not nine and ninety days, to find a thousand jewels and bring them here. When you return the clocks must all be striking five."
  • EVENT THREE
  • EVENT FOUR
  • Xingu (Zorn of Zorna) comes to town in search of a fair maiden. He decides he wants to try for Saralinda's hand in marriage. He and Golux form a plan.
  • "If you can touch the clocks and never start them, then you can start the clocks and never touch them."
  • EVENT FIVE
  • Zorn and Golux search for the 1,000 jewels. They go to Hagga's house and make her laugh so she cries jewels. Long ago King Gwain granted her the power to cry jewels.
  • "She's not my niece. I stole her from a king."
  • When they get back to the castle, Princess Saralinda, helps them unfreeze the clocks.
  • EVENT SEVEN
  • EVENT SIX
  • Zorn completes the impossible task. The Duke tells them that Saralinda was not his niece and that he stole her long ago. Hark reveals that he is King Gwain's servant.
  • Zorn and Saralinda ride off, happily. The Duke is eaten by the Todal.
  • "Princess Saralinda thought she saw, as people often think they see, on clear and windless days, the distant shining shores of Ever After."
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