Imagining George Washington’s Sixth Birthday.
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!
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.
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