Kate Dudding: The Adirondack Outhouse

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I first heard a version of this story told by Nancy Marie Payne at a meeting of the Story Circle of the Capital District in 1998.

 

A while back, a man and his seven sons lived up in the Adirondacks, in a cabin on the Ausable River.

One day, the man bellowed, "Boys! Line up!"

And they came running, as always, and lined up from oldest down to the youngest.

Staring hard into each face in turn, with his feet spread apart and his arms crossed in front of his chest, the man said, "Alright, boys, which one of you pushed the outhouse in the river?"

"Not me, sir."

"Not me, sir."

"Not me, Pa."

All the way down to the youngest who said earnestly, "Oh no, Pa, not me."

"Hmmm. Well, boys, " continued the man, more calmly. "Let me tell you a story. When George Washington was about your age, " pointing to his middle son, "He chopped down a cherry tree. And when his pa asked him, ĎDid you chop down that tree, George?í, George said, ĎI canít tell a lie, Pa, I chopped down that tree.í And Georgeís father was proud of him."

 

"So Iím asking you again, boys, which one of you pushed the outhouse in the river?"

"Not me, sir."

"Not me, sir."

"Not me, Pa."

All the way down to the youngest who said earnestly, "I canít tell a lie, Pa, I pushed the outhouse into the river."

"I thought it was you!" roared the man. "Just wait until I get my hands on you!"

"Wait, Pa, wait! I did just what George Washington did, and his pa was proud of him."

"No, you did NOT do just what George Washington did. There was one important difference."

"Well, well, what was the difference, Pa?"

"When George chopped down the cherry tree, his pa wasnít in it."

 


Kate Dudding (518) 383-4620
8 Sandalwood Drive kate@katedudding.com
Clifton Park, NY 12065-2700 USA
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