The Dangers of Telling Half Truths (story to illustrate a common problem amongst young people today)

The Danger Of Telling Half-Truths.

A story requested by Anne, a teacher, concerned about her students’ dishonesty and lack of responsibility and how it will affect their future lives.

My name is Philip. I have a great deal of experience of telling half-truths. I used to avoid my responsibilities and duties by only saying part of what had happened. In the end, no one believed anything I said. I was not trusted any more, and was thought of as a joke. I wriggled out of things to avoid work, and eventually no one would give me any work. There was no unemployment benefit in those days and I ended up stealing things to stay alive. Finally, I found myself in behind bars. I hated prison, everyone was a liar there. You couldn’t trust a soul. In the outside world people told the truth and I knew what to expect from them. It was just me who was the liar. I thought it was all right to tell only half the story, what I spoke of was true, but by not telling the whole story, I was trying to make people believe something that was not real. That made me a liar, but I would not admit it, even to myself.

I will give you an example. I had three brothers, we all had our duties to do on my father’s farm. It was hard work but as my father said, ‘It puts food on the table. Do you want to eat? Then you have to work.’

We each had certain jobs to do around the farm. Mine was to feed the cows during their morning milking, amongst other things. I had to carry hay or silage to the milking parlour. It was cold, wet and dark in the winter. The best way of doing the job was in the evening before dark, then the feed would be ready for the cows in the morning. If you left it until morning you would be fumbling around in the dark or half light, falling over tools someone else had left around.

Last thing at night Father would ask me. ‘Did you fetch in the hay?’ I always said ‘Yes,’ whether I had not. I might have put the proper load in for the cows, or just a handful , thinking that I would do it next day. Come the morning I would finish the job.

Father hated that, seeing me stumbling around half awake with armfuls of hay, while he was trying to milk the cows.

‘You said you fed them last night. What are you doing now?’

‘I did feed them, but mother called me in for supper and you know how vexed she is when we eat the meal when it’s cold.’

I was full of excuses. I just wanted an easy life.

Father warned me that the cows would go dry if we did not did feed them enough and said that because I was such a liar, he never knew how much fodder they had eaten.

I just thought he was a bad tempered old man and continued with my half-truths and excuses. The cows did go dry, no milk came from two of them. I knew it was my fault. I was giving short rations because I would have to shift a mountain of hay from a distant barn when the supply close to the parlour ran out.

Father exploded. ‘You useless pile of cow dung! You can go and work for someone else. You are no use to me or your mother.’ He banned me from the farm. That’s when my life took a downward spiral. The little work I had soon came to an end because the employer quickly discovered I was not to be trusted, either for the truth, or because of my habit of taking things which were not mine to take. I was soon in prison.

Eventually I did learn that I needed people to trust me if they were going to employ me. The rewards of being trusted and  the satisfaction of doing a good job were far away better than the pleasure of skipping work and getting away with doing as little as possible.

Questions

When do you think this story took place?

Where did Phillip live and work?

Why did he tell only half the story – or ‘half truths’ as he called them.

What was the effect of telling half truths on him?

Why was his father so angry with him?

Does the story remind you of anything in your life?

Is it better to tell the truth and get into a bit of trouble, or to tell half truths and never be trusted as a result?

What is the problem if no one ever trusts you?

How does it feel when you know you are always honest and so does everyone else?

What are the benefits of being trustworthy?

 

 

 

 

The Fight Within- a woman discovers she has cancer. Therapeutic short story.

The Fight Within.

A requested story for a friend of HT

 

Mary couldn’t sleep. It was still dark outside, no sounds came through her closed curtains ; the world had not yet stirred. Mary’s mind was in turmoil. Now she knew for sure what she had suspected for some weeks. It was cancer. The wait after the test over a weekend had felt like forever. She had thought over her entire life remembering all the good bits and the bad, wondering if something she had done could have created this lump in her body.

Mary’s family were not yet fully grown, they still needed their mother. They were learning to become independent, but she felt they still needed a lot of support. Her husband Robert would be all right. Always independent, doing his own thing, he wouldn’t suffer if she went , she thought. Her life had not been quite what she had hoped for so far. She was more of a reactor then an instigator. Life had happened to her rather than she had made it happen. She had not been ambitious and had not made demands on her family. Rather the opposite was true, they had made demands on her and she had complied. What should a mother do other than look after her kids? She fetched and carried them , she gathered up their dirty washing strewn on the floor and dealt with it. She cooked their favourite meals and often felt they might show more consideration and gratitude. She was tired of nagging them; it seemed easier just to do everything herself. She had not insisted that they thanked her for the meals she carefully prepared for them or for keeping the home nice. They were oblivious to her need for recognition and she wasn’t about to tell them how she felt.

Mary thought about how she would do things differently if she survived this. She told herself that the statistics were good these days. Doctors were much more on top of cancer. Most people survived it. Strangely, the idea of telling her family that she wanted more help and appreciation was more daunting to her than telling them that she had cancer. It almost felt like a weakness in her, yet she knew it was not. Her weakness had been in letting them all do exactly what they wanted, without insisting on some return, which would make her life easier and more pleasant. They were not bad kids, they were just selfish and oblivious to a different and better way to behave. It had been her duty and her husband’s to guide the children and they had not. Her husband had grown used to her saying ‘Oh, I don’t mind’, and it had suited him to believe her. He did not take his fair share of parental duties, but as she did not complain, he continued to ignore the situation.

The small knot of resentment had grown and now she had cancer. She had heard that stress can cause all sorts of ills, including cancer, and suddenly she wondered if her bitterness was showing up in her body. It was time to shake up her life. She needed new goals and she needed help to achieve them. The only person who could change things for her was herself. She saw it now. Taking the line of least resistance was not an option now. She made a list of things that would have to change, it was not a long list, but it was a very important one.

Mary stuck the list on the fridge door with a magnet and went back to bed and slept. The following day was a Sunday. Normally she would be the one to get up and make the breakfast. On this day she slept on. At 10 o’clock her husband appeared with tray, on it was a pot of tea and some toast with butter and marmalade. He looked sheepish and embarrassed.

‘Oh, thank you Robert. I thought you were off to golf this morning.’ she said.

Mary’s son and daughter appeared at the door. They looked upset and worried . ‘Hello Mum,’ was all they could say.

Robert reached into into his back pocket and took out Mary’s fridge list. He put it on the tray, Mary noticed ticks on all the items, they looked like marks of agreement. The family had at last come together and had seen what needed to be done for their mum.

‘I’m going to fight it,’ said Mary, ‘but I don’t want to have to fight you too. Thanks for the ticks. Promise me that you’ll remember to go along with it? It is fair enough, isn’t it? All I want to do is to be able to train as…. an astronaut. …That’s not too much to ask, is it? ‘

Her smile told them they were forgiven and she hoped that all their tears were a promise of the help and support she needed.

 

 

A day in the life of Sydney the cat ( About chocolate poisoning) Story for little kids and families with cats

A Day in the Life of Sydney the Cat  

When we go out in the morning our cat always comes to the car. He winds round my legs and rubs his back on my knees.

Mum says ‘Off you go now Sydney, I don’t want to run over you.’

He walks slowly towards the back door, looking over his shoulder to see if we’re watching. I always like to see him pop back into the house through the cat flap. Then I know that the house is safe with him indoors.

Mum says ‘Good, Sydney is safe inside. Off we go.’

But I know he’s keeping the house safe. If any mice came in to steal the cheese we left out by mistake, he would catch them, I know he would. Or if a fly was playing on the window, leaving its dirty footprints everywhere, he would get it.

Mum doesn’t like it when Sydney eats flies .

‘Yuk,’ she says. ‘I wish you wouldn’t do that, Sydney. You don’t even look as if you like the taste!’

We know what Sydney does when we are away. He goes into every room and inspects it for flies, which he catches, and for bits of chocolate which he eats. We are a bit untidy sometimes, and we leave half eaten chocolates in their wrappers on my bed. Well, I do sometimes, if I don’t really like the chocolate. I leave them for someone else to finish and it’s usually Sydney. Mum says they aren’t good for his teeth, but I keep forgetting that and I don’t want to put them in the bin.

One day we were in a hurry to get away in the morning . Off we rushed and when we came back, we found the chocolate spread jar open and on the floor. There was a row of chocolate footprints on the table and on the floor in the kitchen.

‘Who didn’t put the chocolate spread away?’ said Mum.

Sydney was lying in his basket. He didn’t bother to come and say hello.

‘I don’t think he’s feeling very well,’ said Mum. ‘I think he may have got chocolate poisoning.’ I looked at Mum to see if she was joking ‘cos I never get chocolate poisoning.

‘Cats are different,’ said Mum. ‘I don’t think chocolate is good for them. I’ll phone the vet and ask.’ The vet said we had to keep an eye on Sydney and make sure we never give him chocolate again. I was very careful after that. If I ate a chocolate I didn’t like I put it down a special hole in the garden for the little creatures to eat. Mum said we have a chocolate mine in the garden now.

Questions

How old do you think the child in the story is?

What does she do with her half eaten chocolates?

Why is this a very bad idea?

What happened to Sydney while they were all out?

What did the vet say about chocolate poisoning?

Do you know that dogs get chocolate poisoning too?

 

This is story is to teach about a real serious problem. Please learn from it. Keep your pet safe.

What are the symptoms of chocolate poisoning in cats?  reference:  cat-world.com.au

Symptoms vary on the age of the cat (kittens are more susceptible than adults), and the quantity consumed. If enough is ingested, death can occur. Clinical effects can occur within four hours of ingestion, but may take as long as 72 hours. The first signs of theobromine poisoning can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • HyperactivityAbdominal tenderness
  • Restlessness
  • Frequent urination and or urinary incontinence

These can progress to more severe symptoms including:

  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Ataxia (lack of muscular coordination)
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

 

 

 

The Story of YY the Bear, a fun story for little Kids about Goals

 

The story of YY the Bear.   It deals with the subject of goals – or aims, something recently added to the syllabus for young children.

YY was made in a bear factory in Oregon in America.They made small bears, large bears and many in between sized bears, YY was one of the largest, he was as big as a small child. Uncle Humphrey and Aunt Saskia fell in love with him almost as soon as they saw him. He seemed to follow them around the shop with his eyes saying : ‘Take me to your niece in the UK.’

‘I just love this one,’ said Aunt Saskia, ‘he’s really got soul.’

The shop assistant smiled back. ‘All are bears have something about them, but we aren’t allowed to say they’ve got ‘soul’, as it upsets some people, but what we do is we give each bear a ‘goal’, not a soul, but a goal, you see? Look, it’s tied round his neck. This bear’s goal is to ‘Make a child happy every day’.

Aunt Saskia put on her glasses and peered at the label. ‘Ah, so it is. I like that. Come and see this one Humphrey!’

Obedient to his wife, Humphrey crossed the store, holding a small brown bear with a label tied round its neck. Saskia told him about YY and the ‘goal’.

‘Say, that’s real nice, but I like this one too and it would fit in a suitcase,’ said Humphrey.  Saskia’s brow ruffled. ‘Yes, it is kind of cute, but Rosie might already have a bear that size. It’s rather ordinary and what’s its ‘goal’? Let’s have a look.

 

‘To be a very good bear,’ Aunt Saskia read out. ‘Oh no, that’s really boring. Oh, no, we can’t have a bear who just wants to be good and nothing else. You’ve got to put out to others in this life. You’ve got to make an effort!

‘But it’s only a bear,’ said Uncle Humphrey, ‘and it is rather large. They might not let it come on the ship! It takes up the space of a real person!’

‘Just to let them try and stop him coming!’ said Saskia, determined. ‘I want Rosie to get a present from us that she will never forget. This bear fills the bill.’

Uncle Humphrey did his famous shoulder lift and big sigh. ‘Humph’, he said, nothing more. Aunt Saskia got out her cheque-book and paid for the bear.

On the ship the bear sat next to Aunt Saskia. Children were forever coming over to stroke him, or even to hug him.

‘What’s his name?’ they would ask.

‘Oh, he doesn’t have a name yet,’ she would reply.

‘Why?’ each child would say.

Aunt Saskia would explain all about her niece Rosie. Every child who came along wanted to know the bear’s name. Uncle Humphrey began to humph.

‘Why? Why? Why do children always ask ‘Why’, why?

Aunt Saskia sat up straight, as the idea hit her between the eyes.

‘I know we’ll just call him YY, until Rosie gets him then she can decide on his name!’

Uncle Humph humphed once more, but it was a smiling humph, not a bothered humph.

YY made many children happy on the journey over to England and that made Aunt Saskia happy as she loved children, but had none of her own.

When Rosie saw YY, she gave him a great big hug and asked what his name was. Aunt Saskia had planned what she was going to say, so that Rosie could choose a name for him, but Uncle Humphrey being a little absent-minded just said ‘He’s called YY and everyone loves him.’ and he made a sort of apologetic but happy humph, towards Aunt Saskia, and that was that.

He is YY and he makes children happy (and quite a lot of big people too!).