Mark Twain is a seminal American writer. Most famously the author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he is credited with being the first author to respectfully bring the African-American dialect into mainstream literature. The Chief Curator of the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford put it this way: “he is credited with pioneering the presentation of a distinctly American language as literature. …Twain’s use of the vernacular – ‘slangs and colloquialisms’ peculiar to certain geographical regions and races – is what makes books like Adventures of Huckleberry Finn stand out.” How did he find this voice? What made him take the risk and stray so far from conventional English writing to depict the voices of the local people, including freed slaves? Remember he was writing only a decade or so after the end of the Civil War. One theory is that it all began with a short story that he wrote ten years before the publication of Huckleberry Finn. That story is called “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It” and that is the subject of this Meridian Stories Challenge. Some argue that this short story is the first time that the dialect of African Americans had ever been published without the intention of making (white) people laugh. For some readers, it’s the language that is so daunting. And for others, it’s the story. What is your experience with this story? Pick one pathway into the story that you find most compelling. There are four options: 1) it’s historical significance; 2) the story itself; 3) the language you encountered; or 4) Other: up to you. Then present your experience in a three-paneled talking storyboard.