This Week's Featured Stories

If you're looking for a laugh, a midday pick-me-up or a dose of inspiration, you'll love our featured stories. You can read three free stories every month by picking from the selection below or by searching through every Chicken Soup for the Soul story ever published using the box to the right. You can also have stories delivered right to your inbox with our free, featured story emails. If you'd like to have unlimited access and be able to choose the perfect story for any moment, sign up for a premium subscription and have the freedom to enjoy any of our 20,000+ stories any time!


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99: My Mom the Worrier

My Mom the Worrier If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother. ~Booker T. Washington My mom’s a worrier — an all-the-time, worry-about-all-things worrier. But she especially worries about my sisters and me. Nothing changed when we grew into adults. In fact, I don’t think she really noticed. I’m the baby of the family, the youngest of three girls. Mom stayed home until I was about nine, when she went back to work part-time. I was a radio, TV and film major in college. When I graduated, I did a short stint in Boston, where I worked at a local music video station. Mom called every day. That’s right, every day. Don’t get me wrong. Whenever anything happened, I would call her. I once banged my head on the corner of a fuse box at work and needed stitches. Before I got in the car with my colleague to go to the hospital, I called Mom. I moved to L.A. to pursue my dream. Mom still called long-distance every day. In those days, we had to wait until 8:00 p.m. when the rates went down. And I still called her. There was the time I was living in a studio apartment in Sherman Oaks, and I couldn’t find my checkbook. I called Mom. Yes, I called my mom on Long Island and asked her to help... (more)
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100: The Head

The Head Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby Aunt Betty opened the gift, threw back her head and laughed so hard she snorted. This made the rest of us crack up, too. Then she showed us the Christmas present from Aunt Marcia that had elicited her guffaws. It was a head — a hideous, plastic doll head. Creamy pink skin, creepy round eyes, and a rug of awful yellow-orange hair. No body, just an oddly square-shaped head, with tissues protruding from the top. Apparently, it was a tissue-box cover. A handwritten note from Aunt Marcia, taped onto it, said: “For your boudoir.” She had tucked it in with other, actually nice, gifts for Aunt Betty’s new house. The story of the world’s gaudiest tissue-box cover had begun more than twenty years earlier, in the early 1970s. Neighbors had asked then-teenaged Aunt Marcia to watch their dog — The Killer Chihuahua, as Marcia and her older siblings called him. The four siblings (my mom being the oldest) had shared a great laugh when Marcia came home with her beyond-tacky, dog-sitting thank-you gift. Then she tossed it in the back of a closet. When Aunt Marcia resurrected that crazy-old-tissue-box-... (more)
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101: My Dysfunctional Family

My Dysfunctional Family Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. ~David Ogden Stiers When I look at my family, I see a mixture of souls and personalities That don’t fit together at all. I see my father — the hard worker And car fanatic Who was seemingly always missing Yet somehow always there. I see my mother — her kind heart and loving spirit Working full-time and taking care of four kids And still getting supper on the table Before Daddy got home from work. I see my eldest brother, Strong, stubborn, never lukewarm. I see my other brother Following the oldest’s footsteps unintentionally. I see my sister, Short, sassy, clever. I see myself — a mess. I wonder if they see me the way I do. I wonder if they see themselves the way I do. I wonder if other families seem as dysfunctional as ours. I wonder if others see our dysfunction. I wonder if we even see our dysfunction. When I look at my family, I wonder how we have made it this far. But I never once wonder what life would be like With a different family. When I see my family, I look past all of the dysfunction and fights And clashing personalities. All I see is love. When I look at my family, I thank God that He put us together. And I wouldn’t have it Any Other Way. ~Adrienne Sladek (more)
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1: Changing Destiny

Changing Destiny From our ancestors come our names, but from our virtues our honors. ~Proverb When I was born, my mother named me Linda Pearl Davison. My mother was feuding with her sister-in-law, and she named me “Linda” to spite her sister-in-law, who had planned to name her baby Linda. I was born first (by a week), but my mother’s sister-in-law refused to be cheated out of the name she’d chosen and also named her baby Linda. Now there were two “Linda Davisons” in our small town. My mother and her sister-in-law never spoke to each other again, and I never met the cousin who shared my name. The name “Pearl” was given to me because my mother owed several months’ back rent to a woman named Pearl. She hoped if she named her baby after her landlady, she wouldn’t evict her. It didn’t work. I especially hated the name Pearl when I discovered it was a growth inside a mollusk. I never pictured a pearl as a precious jewel. To me, it was a tumor in the slimy stomach of a shellfish. So my first name was given to me in spite. My middle name was given to me to avoid eviction and was gross. And my last name, Davison, was given to me reluctantly and grudgingly by my father, who was separated from my mother. When my mother was... (more)