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Skeleton by Ray Bradbury
Episode 2431st October 2023 • Socratica Reads • Kimberly Hatch Harrison
00:00:00 00:09:27

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Kimberly Hatch Harrison (co-founder of Socratica) hosts this podcast that celebrates the power of reading to inspire. In this episode, Kim returns to her favourite Hallowe’en friend, Ray Bradbury. Back in the day, every Hallowe’en, RDB would read from his book The Hallowe’en Tree at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena. But that’s not the only work of Bradbury’s that is appropriate for Hallowe’en! “Skeleton” is a remarkably funny and creepy little tale, perfect for the season. This may also be the motivation Kim needs to get back to making Biology videos. 

If you would like your own copy of this story, it is available here:

The October Country by Ray Bradbury

Kim’s book: How to Be a Great Student



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Welcome Everybody! To Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. You may know us best from our YouTube channel where we make the educational videos of the future. Mainly math and science—STEM topics. It’s been a few years since I’ve made biology videos, which is too bad because I am a molecular biologist. I keep meaning to get back to that series. 

This podcast is all about the books we read that inspire our work. And here’s a little story from my fella Ray Bradbury, that speaks to me on a certain level as a biology enthusiast. It’s called SKELETON, and you can find it in his collection of stories called The October Country. I of course associate Ray Bradbury with Hallowe’en, what with his brilliant “The Hallowe’en Tree” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” but there are so many stories from Bradbury that remind us of our human body, our frailties that come from being incarnate. These are things that many people are afraid to look square at. But as a biologist, you must. 

Especially now, in the era of COVID, I find myself baffled by how out of touch people are with how their body works. How we are in a fight for survival against a mindless horror. Maybe that’s why I found re-reading this story oddly comforting on this Hallowe’en night. It strikes the right tone for me right now, and it reminds me a bit of what it’s like to KNOW what is going on inside your body. You might be horrified by the idea of a virus replicating in your body. This fellow in the story is so out of touch with his body that he is horrified by the idea that there is a skeleton carrying him around. He kind of goes to war with his own body. 

Before I read a passage to you, I’m going to pause to say—we are sponsored by The Socratica Foundation. And the Socratica Foundation is sponsored by—you. The Socratica Foundation is an educational nonprofit dedicated to the three timeless pillars: Literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking. We have a Literacy Campaign to spread the love of reading and share its enormous power. This includes reading lessons, book donations, and this podcast, Socratica Reads. You can learn more at


Now let’s turn to the story of Mr. Harris and his skeleton. Are you ready? Let’s begin.

{Kim reads excerpt}

I love the people in Ray Bradbury stories. I love this loveable, adorable wife, she’s so sweet to her husband, and all he can think about is his peculiar obsession. He’s so out of touch with reality. It will destroy him in the end. So anyways, yes, this story is a good reminder for me—I have a job to do, I need to return to biology teaching. I need to explain to people how the immune system works. Stay tuned. 

If you want to chat about Ray Bradbury and the power of reading, our Discord Server is open to all of our YouTube channel members, and our Patrons from Patreon. You can join at Thanks for listening.



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