Monday, January 9, 2012

The Mermaid and the Woodcutter

A woodcutter had been hard at work all day, cutting down trees to sell for firewood. It was nearing sunset, but he wanted to cut down one last tree before going home for the night. Coming across a sturdy elm that grew beside a deep pool, he set to work. But he was so tired that, after a few strokes, his ax slipped out of his hands and fell with a splash into the deep black water.
          "How could I be so careless!" the woodcutter cried. "I'll never see my ax again!" And he stood by the water in despair.
          Now, a mermaid happened to be nearby, and heard the woodcutter's lamentations. Quick as thought, the creature appeared before him and asked him what was wrong.
          "I've lost my only ax in the water," the woodcutter groaned. "I can't afford to buy another, and now my children will go hungry. What can I do?"
          "Wait here," the mermaid replied, and she dived to the bottom of the pool. When she came back to the surface, she held in her hand an ax made of pure gold.
          "Is this the ax you lost?" the mermaid asked the woodcutter.
          "No, that one isn't mine," the honest man answered.
          The mermaid dived again to the bottom of the pool and came up with a shining silver ax. "Then this one must be your," she said.
          "No, that one's not mine, either," sighed the woodcutter. "Mine was just a plain iron ax with a wooden handle."
          For the third time the mermaid dived to the bottom of the pool, and this time she came up with an old, worn iron ax.
          "That's the one!" cried the woodcutter joyfully.  “How can I ever thank you?"
          "My friend," said the mermaid, "your honesty deserves a reward. Take all three axes home with you, and your children will never go hungry again."
          When the delighted woodcutter reached home, he told his family what had happened. Now, the woodcutter had a brother who, when he heard the story, said to himself, "Why should my foolish brother have better luck than me? Tomorrow I'll try the same trick, and I'll come home wealthy too!"
          The next day the woodcutter's brother went to the same pool and promptly threw his ax into the water. Immediately he began weeping and wailing, calling on the mermaid to help him. The mermaid appeared and, diving to the bottom of the pool, brought up a golden ax. "Is this the one you lost?" she asked.
          "That's the one!" the woodcutter’s brother cried.
          But the mermaid let the golden ax fall back beneath the water.
          "For your dishonesty," she said, "you'll have no ax at all. "And then she vanished, leaving the woodcutter's brother poorer than ever.

Honesty is the best policy

          This story bears truth, no matter how you look at it. Lying is bad in general; at least that's what we've been told since we're old enough to speak. No matter in what circumstance, you should always be honest. If you cheat on a test, you should tell the teacher about it otherwise the guilt will make you feel miserable. If you tell a little white lie, like you ate your vegetables instead of giving them to your dog which is what you really did, then you would keep doing that and never eat your vegetables. You would lose your health and that would be bad. A little white lie might seem small, but everything works out better if you are just honest. Whenever you do something well, you want to tell someone about it and you would be completely honest with that. So why can you not be honest for the bad things. For example, if you win a basket ball game, you want to tell your parents about it. You would be honest there and tell them all about it. And if you lost, it would not be too hard to tell them. So you have to be honest about good and bad to be completely honest. Grant it being honest about doing bad things has consequences like going to jail for robbing a bank, but in the end, honesty makes the world a better place.

          Honesty creates trust between us all. If everybody was always honest, there would be no corruption, there would be no betrayals, and the people who get away with crime would be non-existent because they would always confess. But sadly, people today are never completely honest. In the past there have been honest people like mother Teresa but that is one in a billion. We need to have that number grow. Frankly, I am not perfect either. I have lied my fair share of times. But if we all just tried to be honest, then we will all be just, all around, a better society for the next generation. So we don't end up like the woodcutter's brother, completely broke and without a clue.

4 comments:

  1. There are really good virtues in this story Woo! I actually learned something!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great Job Woo! Honesty is a great virtue that everyone should have. I should warn you though, you have a few mechanical and spelling errors. You put four instead of for and a semi-colon instead of an apstrophe.

    ReplyDelete