It was a rainy day and Dog had nothing to do. He stared out the window, feeling bored. He thought of calling someone. So he dialled Squirrel’s number. “Hello!” said Squirrel. “Hello Squirrel, I felt kind of bored, so I thought of calling you!” said Dog. “Can I call you later? I am kind of [...]

The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Spreading Stories


It was a rainy day and Dog had nothing to do. He stared out the window, feeling bored. He thought of calling someone. So he dialled Squirrel’s number. “Hello!” said Squirrel. “Hello Squirrel, I felt kind of bored, so I thought of calling you!” said Dog. “Can I call you later? I am kind of busy…” said the Squirrel. “Busy doing what on a rainy day like today?” asked Dog. “My roof came off for the rain. I have to quickly fix it. Will call you later,” replied Squirrel and kept the phone. 

Dog then walked about for a while trying to think of something interesting to do. But nothing came to his mind. So he went to the phone again and called Rat. “Hello, how are you?” asked Dog. “Dog, I’ll have to call you back. I’m in the middle of cleaning my house. The rain water is seeping in and the ground is all wet! I’ll call you later,” said Rat as he cut off the line. Dog sighed. “It seems like everyone’s busy but me!” he said and then remembered Cat. Now that was one friend of his who did nothing much but sleep on rainy days. “I’ll call Cat,” thought Dog, “I’m sure he’s not busy  with anything!”

So Dog called Cat and sure enough a sleepy voice answered the phone. “Hello Cat, what are you up to?” asked Dog. “Well I was sleeping. Your call woke me up!” said Cat, not sounding too pleased. “I was feeling bored too. Let’s chat for a while!” suggested Dog. Cat yawned and said, “Well, I am too sleepy. I will call you later!”

“Everyone wants to talk later!” complained Dog, “Squirrel also said because his roof came down…” Before he could even complete his sentence Cat quickly asked him, “How did that happen?”

Dog felt happy that someone finally showed some interest in talking with him. So he thought he should exaggerate the story a bit to make it sound interesting so that Cat would not hang up the phone. “Well, Squirrel’s roof was pulled down by someone we both know,” he lied.

“Who did such a horrible thing?” asked Cat, who was now fully awake.  “It was Rat!” lied Dog, “and Squirrel got so upset that he tried to drown the Rat family!” “What!” gasped Cat, “Squirrel wouldn’t do that! He’s such a nice person!”

“Yes, but Squirrel got very angry, especially after Rat’s little one bit him!” said Dog. “What?” shouted Cat, “tell me what happened!” Dog was happy to see Cat excited by his story. He knew it was not fair to lie but he enjoyed the attention nevertheless. “Well, yes…” said Dog smacking his lips, thinking of ways to spice-up his story, “After that Squirrel pushed Rat’s little one into the water  and he was howling and crying!”

“That’s such a horrible thing to do. I can’t believe those two could fight that way! They were always such good friends,” went on Cat who was not the least bit sleepy anymore. So the two of them talked for a very long time and Dog made sure he made the story more interesting by completely twisting it with lies.

The next morning while Cat and Dog were talking by the gate, they saw Rat and Squirrel walking down the road with Rat’s little one. But they didn’t seem angry at each other. “Now look at that!” sighed Cat, “can you believe those two? One moment they are fighting and the next moment they are best buddies again!” Dog started to blush. He didn’t know what to say if Cat talked to Rat and Squirrel. He never thought of facing such a situation and he felt scared. “Come on, let’s go in!” he urged Cat. Cat ignored him and walked towards the other two. “Hey, you two! Good to see that you have forgiven each other,” shouted Cat.

Squirrel and Rat looked confused. “Let’s go in! Let’s go in!” said Dog pulling Cat’s arm, “what if they fight again?” Cat ignored Dog and went near Rat’s little one. “Oh you poor thing!” said Cat petting the small rat and shook his head in disappointment. “When you  grown-ups fight, you should never attack small ones!” he told Rat and Squirrel. “What fight?” asked Rat. “Who fought?’

asked Squirrel. Cat looked at Dog who was wiggling uneasily. “Well Dog told me all about you pulling down his roof and how you tried to drown him and how you pushed his little one! Shame on you two,” said Cat pointing at Rat and Squirrel continuously.

Rat and Squirrel stared at Cat then they looked at each other looking very confused. Then they both burst out laughing. “That is such a funny story!” laughed Rat. “Yes my roof came down and his house was flooded. But we didn’t do that to each other!” said Squirrel who was also laughing, “whoever told you such a story?” Cat looked at Dog with a frown. Dog looked down sheepishly. Everyone knew at once, who had created the story.

Dog sighed. “I was bored and no one wanted to chat. So, to make things more interesting I kind of lied!” “But Dog this could have led to a big fight. Rat and I could have become angry and suspected each other,” said Squirrel. “Do you like it if someone spreads stories about you, which aren’t true? Would you have liked it if someone said you broke his roof and tried to drown me?” asked Rat. “No!” said Dog, “I would never do such horrible things!” “Then that’s exactly why you shouldn’t spread stories about others, which aren’t true. You can cause great hurt to an innocent person and it is a very unfair thing to do!” said Rat. Dog sighed and said, “I never realized it but now I understand how unfair it is. I will never spread stories about others again!”

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