Here is the conclusion to this story about George Washington:
George hurried back to the woodshed and sat in a dark corner.
Mr. Washington saw the fallen tree on his way to the house. He saw that its trunk was cut through with many strokes. Then he realized there would be no cherries. There would be no cherry pies.
After all his hard work and care, there would be no cherry tree. George's father sadly walked back to the house.
George saw his father walk past the woodshed. Slowly, he followed his father into the house. He held his hatchet tightly.
His father turned as he heard George come in the door. He looked at George. He looked at George's hatchet. George could see that his father was very angry.
"George," he said, "do you know who cut down my cherry tree?"
George took a deep breath. He tried not to think about being punished. Instead George said, "I cannot tell a lie, Father. I cut down your cherry tree."
George looked at his feet. He felt like crying. "I wasn't careful with the hatchet. I'm sorry, Father." Then he held his breath and waited to hear what his punishment would be.
George felt his father's hands on his shoulders. "Look at me, Son," said Mr. Washington. George made himself look up at his father. To George's surprise, his father no longer seemed angry. In fact, Mr. Washington looked rather calm.
"You have been honest, Son," said Mr. Washington. "That means more to me than any cherry tree ever could."
Of course, George's father was disappointed that there would be no cherries to make cherry pies, but he was proud of his son for telling the truth. "So remember, you must always tell the truth," George's father added.
George never forgot those words. They were a lesson for life.
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