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Honesty is the best policy

Honesty is the best policy – we all know that young George Washington avoided punishment for chopping down the cherry tree … but how about an outhouse?

Once, in the 1820’s, a little boy called Sam was playing in the yard behind his house. During his pretend fighting game, he knocked over the outhouse.

Now Sam was upset and worried that he would get into trouble so he ran into the woods and didn’t come out until after got dark. When he arrived back home, his pappy was waiting for him. He asked suspiciously, “Son, did you knock over the outhouse this afternoon?”

“No, pappy,” Sam lied.

“Well, let me tell you a story,” said the father. “Once, not that long ago, Mr. George Washington received a shiny new axe from his father. Excited, he tried it out on a tree, swiftly cutting it down. But as he looked at the tree, with dismay he realized it was his mother’s favorite cherry tree. Just like you, he ran into the woods. When he returned, his pappy asked, “George, did you cut down the cherry tree?” George answered with, ‘Father, I cannot tell a lie. I did indeed chop down the tree.’

Then his father said, ‘Well, since you were honest with me, you are spared from punishment. I hope you have learned your lesson.’

So,” the Sam’s father asked again,” did you knock down the outhouse?” “Pappy, I cannot tell a lie any longer,” said the little boy. “I did indeed knock down the outhouse.”

Then his pappy spanked Sam red, white, and blue. The boy whimpered, “Pappy, I told you the truth like George Washington did! Why did you spank me?” Pappy answered, “That’s because George Washington’s father wasn’t in the tree when he chopped it down!”

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