O'Henry Stories - Gift of the Magi and others...

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This possibly doesn't meet your requirement of an epic tale, especially if you ruled out Edgar Allen Poe stories, but I love O'Henry Stories like Gift of the Magi, which involves a young couple in love but poor and they both sell their prized possessions for Christmas gifts for each other, but the gifts they buy are accoutrements for the very prized possessions the other owns and has sold.

Or this one... The Cop and the Anthem... This is a good one for music... It's about a petty criminal who wishes to go back to jail to get out of the cold so he does all sorts of petty crimes in front of law enforcement and for some reason all of his attempts are fouled... Finally, in defeat, he sits on the church steps and hears the church organ play... Inspired by the organ, he makes a decision to turn his life around. At that moment, he gets arrested for loitering and sent to jail for 3 months.

There's a final one... Can't remember what it's called but it's got similar themes of rehabilitation and reformation... It's about a bank robber who goes in to rob his final bank... As he enters the bank, he sees the beautiful young daughter of the bank owner. He decides to woo her instead, changes his life around and builds a life together with the woman. One day, they are looking at a new safe for the bank and a young child gets himself locked in the safe. The man's tools are with him because he was going to give it to another colleague of his and he is about to give up the last remnants of his old ways. There is a lawman in the presence who would recognize him if he revealed what he can do and shatter any hopes of him keeping his new life, but the life of the child is in his hands. So he breaks into the safe at the risk of losing all that he has gained and built in the last few months. The lawman, although he knows who he is, chooses not to out him.

Created: Mar 12, 2011

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