Three Old Tales

: Good Stories For Great Holidays



When George was about six years old, he was made the wealthy master of a

hatchet of which, like most little boys, he was extremely fond. He went

about chopping everything that came his way.

One day, as he wandered about the garden amusing himself by hacking his

mother's pea-sticks, he found a
eautiful, young English cherry tree, of

which his father was most proud. He tried the edge of his hatchet on the

trunk of the tree and barked it so that it died.

Some time after this, his father discovered what had happened to his

favorite tree. He came into the house in great anger, and demanded to

know who the mischievous person was who had cut away the bark. Nobody

could tell him anything about it.

Just then George, with his little hatchet, came into the room.

"George," said his father, "do you know who has killed my beautiful

little cherry tree yonder in the garden? I would not have taken five

guineas for it!"

This was a hard question to answer, and for a moment George was

staggered by it, but quickly recovering himself he cried:--

"I cannot tell a lie, father, you know I cannot tell a lie! I did cut it

with my little hatchet."

The anger died out of his father's face, and taking the boy tenderly in

his arms, he said:--

"My son, that you should not be afraid to tell the truth is more to me

than a thousand trees! yes, though they were blossomed with silver and

had leaves of the purest gold!"


One fine morning in the autumn Mr. Washington, taking little George by

the hand, walked with him to the apple orchard, promising that he would

show him a fine sight.

On arriving at the orchard they saw a fine sight, indeed! The green

grass under the trees was strewn with red-cheeked apples, and yet the

trees were bending under the weight of fruit that hung thick among the


"Now, George," said his father, "look, my son, see all this rich harvest

of fruit! Do you remember when your good cousin brought you a fine,

large apple last spring, how you refused to divide it with your

brothers? And yet I told you then that, if you would be generous, God

would give you plenty of apples this autumn."

Poor George could not answer, but hanging down his head looked quite

confused, while with his little, naked, bare feet he scratched in the

soft ground.

"Now, look up, my son," continued his father, "and see how the blessed

God has richly provided us with these trees loaded with the finest

fruit. See how abundant is the harvest. Some of the trees are bending

beneath their burdens, while the ground is covered with mellow apples,

more than you could eat, my son, in all your lifetime."

George looked in silence on the orchard, he marked the busy, humming

bees, and heard the gay notes of the birds fluttering from tree to tree.

His eyes filled with tears and he answered softly:--

"Truly, father, I never will be selfish any more."


One day Mr. Washington went into the garden and dug a little bed of

earth and prepared it for seed. He then took a stick and traced on the

bed George's name in full. After this he strewed the tracing thickly

with seeds, and smoothed all over nicely with his roller.

This garden-bed he purposely prepared close to a gooseberry-walk. The

bushes were hung with the ripe fruit, and he knew that George would

visit them every morning.

Not many days had passed away when one morning George came running

into the house, breathless with excitement, and his eyes shining with


"Come here! father, come here!" he cried.

"What's the matter, my son?" asked his father.

"O come, father," answered George, "and I'll show you such a sight as

you have never seen in all your lifetime."

Mr. Washington gave the boy his hand, which he seized with great

eagerness. He led his father straight to the garden-bed, whereon in

large letters, in lines of soft green, was written:--