When George Washington was about seven years old his father gave him a hatchet; and like all boys who are suddenly made the owners of such a desirable possession, he began trying its edge on everything that came in his way. Unfortunately, however, he chopped down. one of his father's favorite young cherry trees, never dreaming of the mischief he had done until Mr. Washington next day discovered it and inquired for the culprit. As soon as the boy heard of the loss and learned how highly his father had valued the tree, he came forward in a manly manner, though with great sorrow pictured on his countenance and exclaimed, "I did it, father, with my hatchet, I cannot tell a lie." This so touched his father's heart that he embraced his son and declared he would rather lose every tree in his garden than have his little son tell a lie.
A Fictional Short Story by
Agnes Taylor Ketchum & Ida M. Jorgensen