Saturday, January 12, 2013

< RM > story - To Tell the Truth

To Tell the Truth

"Who did this?" asked my teacher. Thirty
children tried to think about not only what
they had done, but also what our teacher
may have found out. "Who did this?" asked
my teacher once more. She wasn't really
asking, she was demanding an answer.
She seldom became angry, but she was this
time. She held up a piece of broken glass and
asked, "Who broke this window?"
"Oh, oh," I thought. I was the one who
broke the window. I had not done it inten-
tionally. It was caused by an errant throw of
a baseball. I was working on my knuckleball.
It needed more work. Why did it have to be
me? It wasn't really my fault. If I admitted
guilt, I would be in a lot of trouble. How
would I be able to pay for a big window like
that? I didn't even get an allowance. "My
father is going to have a fit," I thought. I did-
n't want to raise my hand, but some force
much stronger than I was pulled it skyward.
I told the truth. "I did it." I said no more. It
was hard enough saying what I had.
My teacher went to one of our library
shelves and took down a book. She then
began walking towards my desk. I had never
known my teacher to strike a student, but I
feared she was going to start with me and
she was going to use a book for the swatting.
"I know how you like birds," she said as
she stood looking down at my guilt-ridden
face. "Here is that field guide about birds that
you are constantly checking out. It is yours.
It's time we got a new one for the school
anyway. The book is yours and you will not
be punished as long as you remember that I
am not rewarding you for your misdeed, I am
rewarding you for your truthfulness."

1 comment:

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