What Really Happened When George Cut Down the Cherry Tree

Setting: George Washington’s Sixth Birthday. 

Happy Birthday Hatchet Pie!

Our story opens when George Washington’s father comes outside and finds that the cherry tree has been chopped down:

What the?  George Washington come here right NOW!

Yes father?

Something tells me you cut down this cherry tree with the hatchet I got you for your birthday today!  I knew you were too young for a hatchet!  I knew I should have gone with your mother’s suggestion and gotten you a guillotine instead.

Father, please . . . I’m six!  All the other children in the township got hatchets when they turned three!  I mean, it’s downright embarrassing how long I had to wait to finally get a hatchet of my very own!  And, besides, everybody knows guillotines are for babies.

Well look what happens.  I finally get you a hatchet, and you haven’t even had it more than an hour and what’s the first thing you do? Cut down my prized cherry tree!

Well, I cannot tell a lie, Father.  It’s not exactly the first thing I cut down.


Well now that you’ve brought it up, and since I cannot tell a lie, this might be as good a time as any to mention that first I cut down the apple tree, then I cut down the apricot tree and, lastly, I cut down the cherry tree — in addition to hacking up a couple of rose bushes.

That does it George, march yourself to the woodshed, I’m giving you a sound whipping’!

Father, as you know, I cannot tell a lie, so this might be as good a time as any to also mention that the woodshed isn’t as much of a woodshed as it used to be . . .

 On no!  Not another “I cannot tell a lie!”

In fact, it would be more accurate, Dear Father, if we were to start thinking of the woodshed in terms of a rather large pile of kindling rather than an  actual building in and of itself.

Nothing like the thrill of killing and eating fruit!

Oh for crying out loud!  Well, I hope you at least saved the fruit so that your mother can bake us some pies . . . George?  You did save the fruit from the trees didn’t you?

Oh that . . . well . . .  I can cannot tell a lie, Father, for I surely would if it would spare you the heartache of telling you that I but finished off the last of fruit only seconds ago.

Ha ha! Well,  you might be the naughtiest boy in the world but at least you’re honest George, my boy!   I have a feeling you are going to grow up to be the very first President of the United States of America!  Now off with you!  Oh . . . and for godsakes don’t forget to brush your teeth again!

Happy Birthday George Washington!  Wherever you are!

Until next time . . . I love you

22 thoughts on “What Really Happened When George Cut Down the Cherry Tree

  1. That certainly ties up a few loose Washington ends. Papa Washington was a wise prognosticator of George’s future (distant future – not so much the immediate future about giving sharp tools to children).
    I can’t wait to hear what lies John Adams did or did not tell in his youth. Ok, I’ll wait.

      • I heard (here we go again) that Johnny A. (as both his friends and enemies called him, depending on what they thought the A stood for) had excellent spin control operatives, who would spin you really, really fast if you said something they didn’t like. And that’s why we never hear about all hatchet murders Adams committed. OOPS ! Hey guys ! Take it easy – not so fast. I’m getting dizzy. Ok, dizzier.

        • Johnny A. LOL! Yes, I can see how you would either love him or hate him. After all, he went around planting trees on property he didn’t even own. (He was probably trespassing 80-90% percent of the time.) And thank you for filling us in on that forgotten part of history when “spin” was invented. Very informative indeed!

          • Not speaking of which, I heard (I’ve got to stop listening) that the reason clowns wear such big shoes is because they evolved from Hobbits, and they are honoring their ancestors.

  2. Now, that’s funny… but, I laugh at any dead politician jokes, so…

    I can’t think of anything to say about George & his hatchet, which I assume is a metaphor for Adam’s imagined revenge, as are the fruit trees, for, well…. must I say it?… If I could think of anything, I’m certain it would be sharp… which is more than I, or anyone, can say for George’s father, who is, sorry, not the brightest bulb in the box….

    Thanks; always good to see historical myths get new perspective, especially when twisted/mangled, er, corrected so well….


    • Thanks Ned. I feel kind of sorry for George Washington’s dad. His son grew up to become president of the united states of America which didn’t even exist when he was born. I guess the only other person who could identify with that would be Steve Job’s dad. But I’m sure you can think of some other good examples. Which is your assignment for this week! 🙂

  3. American readers may be interested to note that – at least up until the late 1970s – the story of George Washington’s candour was rammed into every English schoolchild’s confused brain.

    All I can remember is wondering why

    1) we were being looked at in a knowing way by the class teacher who told us the story and

    2) why George Washington was totally let off whereas Peter Rieden got slippered in front of the whole school for admitting he ran across the main road by himself instead of using the school crossing.

    Once again, Ms Vernonhumor shines light where once was darkness.

    • Really? I’m so surprised that English school children’s confused brains were also forced to learn about George Washington’s inability to tell a lie! So apparently there was poor sportsmanship on England’s part over the revolutionary war thingy. Well that warms my heart.

      As for Peter Rieden, I hope he snuck out in the dead of night with his hatchet and hacked up some of the school’s shrubbery at the very least.

      • Peter took it in his stride. I bumped into him about five years ago. He is now in charge of maintenance and repair programs for one of the US’s most covert attack fighter planes. Put it this way: you are highly unlikely to be killed by enemy attack from the air.

        I hope this message calms your furrowed brow and allows you to continue to lighten up the world for all of us who crave a new dawn and gather like moths around the kerosene lamp which is your laughter.

        (sorry – I went on a bit there)

  4. Haw!! This exquisite bit of lunacy made me laugh so hard, all the termites fell out of my teeth! Hey, maybe this set o’ choppers’ll last more’n a week!!

    My favorite line was “…the woodshed isn’t as much of a woodshed as it used to be…” Woof!! Never saw that ‘un coming! Your uncanny ability to come up with that one more above-and-beyond gag makes your humor writing worth its weight in canned cherries, a boatload of bananas, a big bag of Onyums, and enough prunes to fill 37’s golf bag!!

    Wunnaful, wunnaful! Hope you’re well, and sorry to be away so long! : )

    • Markie MacGiggles! So good to see your smiling face!!! 🙂 Ah the beauty of termite teeth. Ha! No flossing required!! ( But don’t mention the termite thing to our buddy Al. He just got his lab work back and turns out he’s 99.9 percent wood.) Thanks so much for coming by Mark, I hope you are doing marvelously and that all is well with you and yours and that you are having a wonderful year so far!

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