Below is the second part of this story about George Washington:
When they sat down for dinner, George laid his hatchet down in a corner of the room. All through dinner, he looked over at it. What could he do with it next?
George's mother noticed how George watched the hatchet.
"I think it's time you put that hatchet to good use, George," she said.
"Tomorrow, I would like you to chop kindling for the fire."
"Oh yes, Mother!" George said. "I can start tonight!"
Mrs. Washington said, "You need a good night's sleep first."
George put his hatchet under his bed. He climbed into bed and closed his eyes. George had a hard time falling asleep. He couldn't wait until morning. He saw himself chopping piles, and then mounds, and then mountains of kindling!
When George finally fell asleep, he dreamed that he was a great woodcutter. With one sweep of his hatchet, he cut down whole forests.
The next morning, George hurried through his breakfast. As soon as he finished his last bite, he told his mother, "I'm ready to chop kindling now." His mother sent him out to the woodshed.
George looked around for the kindling. It was not a mountain of kindling. And it was barely a mound. Still, George went to work. He chopped the long, thin branches into small sticks.
Then George chopped the small sticks into smaller sticks. Then he chopped the smaller sticks into pieces. George saw that the pieces were too small to be chopped further. He ran inside to tell his mother that he had finished his job.
"I'm finished, Mother. Is there any more kindling for me to chop?" George asked.
"No, George. You may play for a while," she said.
George didn't want to play. He wanted to chop more wood.
George wandered outside. George decided to test his hatchet again. He went to an old, thick fence post. On the first strike, his hatchet's blade sunk deep into the wood.
George had to tug to pull it free. "Well, that was too thick," George thought. Then he saw the trunk of the young cherry tree.
The tree trunk looked just right. It wasn't full-grown as the apple and pear trees were. George chopped at the cherry tree. The blade dug into the tree trunk, but pulled free easily. Why, it would take just a few strokes of his hatchet to cut the tree down!
George chopped until the tree fell. George looked proudly at the fallen tree. Then he remembered how much his father liked the cherry tree. And he remembered how his father had told him to be careful with the hatchet.
What did George Washington do next? Find out on the next page.
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