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Steve Groll

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The Deadly Lie
By Steve Groll
Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A ten-year-old boy learns a harsh life lesson about the consequences of dishonesty.

Cursy Conner was ten. He was small for his age. He had a thin face, black hair, and brown eyes. Most kids did not pay much attention to Cursy, so he tended to make up stories and boast of accomplishments he never achieved in an attempt to get attention. It was while he was away at summer camp that he learned a very hard life lesson. The following is what happened.

On the first day of camp, the counselors read and explained all the rules to the children. One rule that the counselors spent a long time on was no throwing rocks into the swimming pond or anywhere else on the campgrounds.

After orientation, the children checked out their new surroundings. Cursy and a group of newfound buddies went to get a look at the swimming pond.

One fellow, named Roy Rublander, picked up a flat rock and said, “Watch this.” He threw the rock and skimmed it on the surface of the water. It skipped six times before it sank.

Cursy promptly picked up a rock and said, “That's nothing. I can skim a rock thirty times before it sinks; I hold the record at my school for the most skips for one throw. Watch this!” He threw his rock overhand like you would throw a baseball, and it hit the water with a splash and sank without skipping once.

All the kids laughed, and one of them said, “You are such a liar, Conner. That's not how you skip a rock. You have to get a flat, round rock and throw it along the surface.” Then all the boys started skimming rocks to demonstrate how to do it and to see who could skip the most times in a throw.

The boys were having so much fun, breaking one of the most important rules of the camp, that they didn't see the counselor behind a tree watching them. When he finally stepped out, all the boys except Cursy saw him and ran.

Cursy was so into what he was doing that he didn't notice the counselor was now standing right behind him.

Thinking that he finally had the skipping technique down, he called out, “Watch this one.” He threw a rock that only skipped three times. As he stooped to picked up another rock, he noticed how quiet everything was. He looked around to see what the other boys were doing and discovered the counselor standing behind him. The counselor wore a navy-blue uniform with a ball cap that had the name of the camp written across the front in white letters. He was in his mid thirties, had a brown mustache, sun browned skin, and kind eyes.

Cursy quickly dropped the rock he was holding. “I didn't throw any rocks into the pond.”

“Who said you did?” asked the counselor.

The boy shrugged and looked down at the ground.

“Cursy, did you know that it is dangerous to lie?” the counselor asked and put a gentle hand on the boys shoulder.

The boy looked up into the counselor's eyes and said, “I'm not lying. I was just pretending to throw the rocks into the pond. I didn't really throw any into the water. It was the other boys. They were the ones doing it. Not me.”

The counselor ignored this and said, “The problem with lying is that people stop believing you, and even when you tell them the truth they will still think you are lying. There will come a time when it is very important that people believe you; you will tell the truth, but if people think you are a liar, they won't believe what you say.”

“I'm not lying,” Cursy insisted.

The counselor looked at the boy with a sad expression. “All right son, go get washed up for lunch.” Cursy knew that the counselor believed he was lying, but he feared he would be in trouble if he admitted the truth.

The boy ran into his cabin. Each cabin had enough bunk beds for twelve boys. The boys in Cursey’s cabin were the same ones that were at the pond with him. Feeling relieved that he didn’t get into trouble, the boy banged on the bedposts merrily as he walked by them. One bed that he hit really hard was Big Burt's, the biggest boy in the camp. Burt was on the top bunk and had just taken off his new watch and laid it down on the bed. It was a little too close to the edge, so when Cursy hit the bedpost, the watch fell off, hit the floor, and shattered.

Burt yelled, “Who hit my bed? Someone hit my bed and knocked my new watch onto the floor. My grandmother gave me that watch for my birthday. Who did it?” He glared at everyone standing around him.

Conner figured that if anyone had seen him hit Burt’s bed he would have ratted on him. When nobody said anything, Conner said, “It wasn't me, but Leon Lipsore is on the bunk under yours. Maybe it was just an accident, and he kicked the bottom of your mattress.”

Burt looked down; ready to grab Leon and take him outside to teach him to be more careful, but Leon wasn't there. Just then, Leon came walking out of the bathroom, saw everyone standing around his bunk, and asked, “What's going on? Why’s everybody standing around my bed?”

Burt asked Leon, “How long have you been in the bathroom?”

The confused boy shrugged. “I don't know, maybe ten minutes. I was feeling a little carsick from the ride up, so I thought I would stay in the bathroom until I was feeling better. I didn't want to hurl in the cabin and stink the place up.”

All eyes shifted to Cursy, including Burt's. He was more than angry, he was furious. “It was you wasn't it, Conner? You hit the bed and blamed it on Leon. What kind of liar are you?”

“No, it wasn't me, honest. I didn't even touch the beds when I came in here.”

A couple of boys whose beds were by the door said, “That's not true Burt; he hit our beds when he came in. We can't see your bunk from ours, so we don't know if he hit your’s. He probably hit all the bed posts as he walked by them.”

Burt said, “I think you did it, Conner. You lied about not hitting any of the beds. You lied about Leon kicking my mattress. I know you did it, but since I can't prove it, I am not going to pound you right now.”

Cursy felt relieved that Burt didn‘t beat him up, but he did feel bad about Burt's watch. Cursy was starting to think that he needed to do something to get all the heat and attention off himself. Everyone was starting to think that he was a lying creep. He got an idea. He decided that after dinner when everyone was taking their showers before bed, he would take a couple guys’ money out of their packs and put it in Leon's pack. He didn't like Leon because he wore thick glasses, had bushy hair, and a big nose. He thought Leon was a geek, so he didn't think it mattered much what he did to him.

That night when all the boys were taking showers, Cursy made sure he was the first one done. He hurried back to the cabin and went through two of the packs near Leon's bed, found about twenty dollars in each pack, and put the money into Leon's pack.

Later when everyone was getting ready for bed, one guy yelled, “Who took my money?” Then another yelled, “Somebody took my money too!”

Everybody looked at Cursy. “Why’s everyone looking at me?” Cursy protested. “I didn't take anything. Why don't you look in Leon's pack?”

Burt said, “What's with you and Leon? This is the second time you have tried to blame him for something.”

“Just look in his pack,” Cursy insisted.

Leon said “It's okay; I'll look. He opened his pack and rooted around his things. “Nope, there’s just my fifteen dollars I brought.”

Cursy shouted, “You're lying. Someone check his stuff; look in the red money pouch under his socks.”

Leon looked at Cursy and frowned. “How did you know I had a red money pouch under my socks, unless you were in my pack?”

“What?” Cursy stammered, “I… I… saw it earlier when… you were unpacking your stuff.”

“No. I haven't unpacked my stuff, and I never took my red money pouch out. No one knows about it but me and whoever happened to put stolen money in it to make it look like I took it.”

Cursy clammed up. “That tears it, Conner,” Big Burt said. “You're a lying creep, and we don't want to have anything more to do with you.” After that, everyone gave Cursy the cold shoulder. They would not play with him or even talk to him unless they had to.

During free time, when the children were allowed to play and do what they wanted, Cursy walked out into the forest behind the swimming pond. While he was sitting and thinking about how everyone was being so mean to him, he heard someone walking up behind him. He stood and turned, hoping to see one of the guys from his cabin coming to play with him, but instead he saw a little, short haired, brown and white dog. The little dog had bright eyes and a constantly wagging tail.

Cursy stooped down and called the dog over. It came and allowed Cursy to pet it. Cursy started to cry because he felt like he had a friend now. They played for a long time. The dog fetched sticks that Cursy threw for it. They chased each other and even played catch with a pinecone.

Cursy was feeling so much better now that he had someone to play with. He sat down and told his new friend everything that was going on at camp. He told him that the other kids were mean to him and hated him for no reason at all. The dog just listened, licked Cursy’s hand, and rested his head in the boy's lap.

Finally, Cursy said, “Come on; let's play a little more. It's almost time for dinner.” When the boy got up, the dog jumped up and ran into the forest. Cursy yelled, “I'm going to get you. You better run.” Laughing, he chased after his new friend. But something happened. Cursy heard a loud yelp and the dog started crying.

Cursy screamed, “Are you hurt? Where are you, boy? I'm coming! I'm coming!” He followed the sounds of the hurt dog and eventually came to a deep pit. It was trap. Someone had dug a hole and covered it with branches and leaves. The dog ran over the weak covering and fell in. Cursy could see the dog lying at the bottom of the pit, bleeding. It looked like one of his legs was broken. The pit was too deep for the boy to climb down. He called to his friend, “Don't worry, boy; I'll get help. Please be okay. I'll be right back.”

Cursy ran as fast as he could back to the camp. The children were standing in line for dinner. He told them about the dog falling into the pit. He explained that it was badly injured. However, the kids just laughed at him. “Get in line, Conner. We don't want to hear any more of your lies.”

“No, it's true ! I'm telling you the truth! The dog is going to die if you don't help me.”

Leon heard him and said, “Come on, liar, no one believes you. You’re not going to pull anymore of your garbage on us. You’re just trying to trick us into the forest so you can get first in line.”

“He's going to die, you stupid people. Why won't anyone believe me?” He was crying now in frustration. He ran to the office to see if he could find a counselor. Cursy found the counselor that caught him throwing rocks in the pond.

“Hi, Cursy, why aren't you in line for dinner?” The boy told the counselor about the dog and begged him to help. “That is some story you're telling. There is nobody anywhere near the property that would make such a trap. It makes no sense. Remember what I told you. Someday you're lies are going to catch up with you. Now run along and get in line for dinner.”

Before Cursy could say anything more, the phone rang. “I have to take this call, son. Run along now, get some dinner, and think about what I said. No more lying.”

Cursy felt like he was in a nightmare. His only friend at the camp was dying, and he could do nothing to help him. Nobody would believe him. He ran into the cafeteria and yelled at everyone, begging them, “Please, please won't anyone believe me? I'm telling the truth. I lied before, but now I'm telling the truth. There is a dog in a pit trap. He is bleeding, and I think one of his legs is broken. Please, someone, help me save him.” But he had told too many lies and did too many dishonest things. No one trusted him. They threw food at him and yelled, “Sit down and shut up, Conner.”

Cursy screamed and ran out of the cafeteria back to where he had left his new friend. When he got back, he couldn't hear anything from the pit, and the dog wasn't moving. He sat down and cried. “All those people are horrible. They won't even help a little dog. I hate them!”

Cursy heard his counselor calling his name. He was looking for him because it was dark now and the boy had not shown up at his cabin. “I'm over here. Help me!”

The counselor arrived with a flashlight in hand. He pointed it down at the dog, and it was obvious to both of them that it was dead. “Cursy, I’m sorry about the dog.”

“It's all their fault. It's your fault. No one would help me,” Cursy said bitterly and sniffed.

The counselor sat down next to boy and put his arm around his shoulders. “Son, do you remember what happened the first day of camp, with the rocks in the swimming pond? Do you remember me telling you what would happen if you continued to lie? This wasn't your fault. You did not make the trap. The dog was too badly injured; it couldn't have been saved. But suppose it could have been saved. You made it so hard for anyone to trust you or believe you that you wouldn’t have been able to get help even if you really needed it. That's the danger of being a liar.”Sunday school, church, behavior, obedience, consequences, kids, children, education, learning, wisdom, drama, honesty, lying, lie, teaching story, stories, camp, home schooling, teaching, lesson

       Web Site: Beyond the Dead Forest

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 12/17/2010
“Come on, lire, no one believes you.
of his legs if broken
Cursy heard his councilor

Just a few typos that I noticed, Steve. This is another good story to teach children (or anyone for that matter) about the evils of lying and the possible consequences. Thank you for sharing. Love and peace,

Reviewed by David Glenn 12/13/2010
A hard lesson to be learned, but at least he didn't suffer like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I'll bet he started being honest from that day forth.

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