Select Page

How “Ancient Tales of Money” Got Started

All of a sudden, some kids start getting insanely interested in making money.  I was definitely one of those kids.  it makes sense, because “even kindergartners know you have to make money,” says the other half of Casey Clover.  From 2nd grade on, it was lemonade stands, dog walking, selling janky jewelry at fairs, and even the dreaded babysitting. 

[icon name=”arrow-right” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] You know who knows this?  Elementary schools.  We have this thing called “TIger Tickets” – it’s the school’s own currency.  You get Tiger Tickets from teachers for being “good.”  You can use Tiger Tickets for “treasures” from the treasure box – a mish-mash of Oriental Trading Company stuff, usually.


But the kids form their own way of using this currency.  AKA, a black market!

Teachers have rolls and rolls of blank Tiger Tickets in their desks.  The kids could easily see that the school literally prints money.  And they started paying each other with Tiger Tickets by erasing their own penciled names and writing in the other kids’ names.

They also formed their own currency called “Moogie Money.”  I’ll let the other half of CC explain that one sometime – I have it on video, and the dramatic tale includes a crashing market.

So then, I read The Richest Man In Babylon.

In an email last year, someone mentioned a book called The Richest Man In Babylon.  It is one of those “famous” success books like Think And Grow Rich, The Strangest Secret, The Book of 5 Rings, etc.  I had not read it yet, so I picked up a copy.

[icon name=”book” class=”” unprefixed_class=””] When I read it, I understood why it was credited with changing people’s lives.  The Richest Man In Babylon is not a work of philosophy, but a hard primer on exactly what to do to acquire money in the modern world.  How much to save, how to invest, and the best explanation of compounded interest I’d ever read.

It was all thinly disguised as folk tales, and I mean thinly.  The “stories” were basically repetitive lectures from ancient Babylonian characters.  The language tried too hard to sound ancient, so it was overcomplicated and hard to read.

And there were far too many concepts crammed into one lecture!  But still, it was a lot better than reading one of those boring books like “Smart Money Handling 101.”

The original author was smart.

Though no great storyteller, he knew that people learn best through stories and examples.  Stories bypass our natural resistance to new information and ideas (the brain’s “critical function.”)

I thought, “You know who really needs to learn this?  KIDS.”

  • One, because they’re interested in money.
  • Two, because poor kids – which are most of them – never learn this stuff from their parents.  How can they?  Their parents don’t know it.  Mine certainly didn’t.

And, as Rukia points out in “Ancient Tales Of Money,” the schools certainly don’t teach it.  So, I thought, “I’m going to do a modern translation of these stories and test it on my 9 year old lab rat.”

He was very interested to hear more.  This wasn’t because the stories were wonderful.  In fact, they were boring and repetitive!  It was because he had a thirst to learn about the subject.

“You should make these more like real stories,” was his verdict.  So, we started getting to work writing our own folk tales based on the material.

4 months later, we have Ancient Tales of Money… and many stories written for Book 2!

Want to read a bad draft?

Here’s an example of what the original stories were like, faithfully translated from the original text.  This one was especially boring and repetitive, and got the axe.

Read “The Walls of Babylon!”