A Not So Old Chinese Parable
Two young brothers were out playing one afternoon. They suddenly spied an outhouse at the top of a hill…
Two young brothers were out playing one afternoon. They suddenly spied an outhouse at the top of a hill. Being mischievous, they whispered into each other’s ear and big grins formed on their faces. They ran to the outhouse, both grabbing one side and tipped the outhouse over the hill. It slid down the hill and stopped with a crash.
A moment later their father comes roaring up over the hill. He grabs the two boys and yells, “who tipped the outhouse over the hill?” Answered by silence he yells again, “who tipped the outhouse over hill?”
Calming down he tells both boys to sit. “I am going to tell you a story. In a land far away, lived a young boy named George Washington. He was a good boy, always known for telling the truth. One day, young George took his axe and chopped down his families’ cherry tree. After learning of the destroyed tree his father confronts the boy and asks who chopped down the cherry tree?
George responds, ‘It was I father. I am the one who chopped down the cherry tree.’ His father pats the boy on the head and says you are a good boy George. You always tell the truth.”
Moved deeply by the story one of the brothers speaks up and says “it was I father. I tipped the outhouse over the hill.”
When the kid finally comes to…. he looks up at his father and questions “why did you tell a story about virtue gets reward and then punish me?”
A smile slowly appears on the old man’s lips and knowing he can finally make his point, replies “George Washington’s father was not in the cherry tree!