Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Truth and Cherries

Image from history-for-kids.com.

Dylan was telling us all that he had learned about George Washington this weekend.  He was especially detailed about how many teeth George Washington had or, rather, how many he didn't have; Dylan told us that George Washington had carved fake teeth out of hippopotamus teeth.  I haven't determined the veracity of those claims, but when he started talking about George Washington copping to cutting down his dad's cherry tree, that rang some bells.  Dylan said, "George told the truth about cutting down the tree, so he didn't get in trouble."  I decided that anything to reinforce the important of telling the truth was a good thing.  So we talked about that more in detail and I found this children's poem by Paul Perro:

Little George Washington was a good boy

So his mummy gave him a brand new toy.
It was a little axe, a real sharp one,
And George thought that it would be lots of fun.

He took the little hatchet out into
The garden, where lots of plants and weeds grew.
He chopped at some weeds, chopped them to the ground,
After that he began to look around.

He looked around for something else to chop,
He was having a ball, and could not stop.
Right at the bottom of the garden he
Came across his daddy's best cherry tree.

He chopped at it with his little hatchet
The tree was big, he could only scratch it.
So he tried much harder, chopping the wood,
Until at last it fell down with a thud.

Then George was happy and put down his axe
And he sat down and started to relax.
Suddenly, a cry, it was George’s dad;
He’d seen the felled tree and was really mad.

“Who has chopped down my lovely cherry tree?”
His face was red he was really angry.
George was scared to tell the truth but he knew
Telling the truth was the right thing to do.

So George said “Sorry daddy, it was I,
I killed the tree, I cannot tell a lie.”
At first dad was cross, then he realised
As he looked into his little boy’s eyes,

George’s behaviour had been outrageous
But he’d been honest, which was courageous.
“My boy” said dad, “I’m very cross, but still,
Your honesty is quite admirable.

I cannot punish you because I’m so
Proud that you’re my son. I love you, you know.”

If you’re brave and honest, you can go far,
You can grow up to be a superstar.
Yes George grew up to be one of the greats
A President of the United States!

Then, you know me, I came up with a dinner that was all about the cherry.  Dylan was tickled that his story had spawned a menu.  I know many people make cherry pies to commemorate George Washington's birthday.  I still need to embrace simplicity.  Tonight I made: mahi-mahi with a cherry-caper compote, bulghur wheat pilaf with pistachios and dried cherries, and a cherry cheesecake.  Recipes to follow.

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