I Cannot Tell A Lie

Submitted by Caspar
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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Young George Washington was about six years old when he was given a small axe by his father. Young George went around chopping everything that he came across in the manner that young boys will do.

One day he saw a small cherry tree. He knew it was his father's favorite cherry tree, a small but strong tree that his father nurtured lovingly every day.

Without thinking of the consequences, for six year old boys seldom do, young George swung the axe and struck the tree. The blade of the axe was sharp. It sliced through the slender trunk of the cherry tree and the small tree fell over.

George was suddenly silent. He knew he had done wrong, and worse still, his father was approaching. He threw down the axe and waited for his father to arrive.

George's father stood and looked at the fallen cherry tree. Then he looked at the little axe lying on the ground and picked it up, weighing it in his hand. He turned to young George and asked of him, "George, did you chop down my favorite cherry tree?"

George looked his father straight in the eye and replied, "I cannot tell a lie. Yes father, I chopped down your favorite cherry tree."

George's father, instead of being angry, drew his small son to his breast and hugged him. Then he said, "George, you have made me a proud father. In the face of adversity, you refused to take the easy way out and tell a lie. You stood brave and told the truth, knowing you would likely be punished. That is indeed a very noble thing for a young boy to do."

George frowned and looked at his father saying, "Father, I did not tell you the truth because it was the right thing to do." His father, confused, said, "George, if you did not tell the truth because it was the right and proper thing to do, why did you?"

Young George looked his father straight in the eye and replied, "Father, I told you the truth because you were holding the axe!"

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