Galapagos and her Little White Lie

Galapagos had felt strange all day; she’d spent the day on her own, away from all the other ducks.

All day long Galapagos had told herself that it didn’t matter; it was only a little white lie, but that didn’t stop her from feeling bad about it.

She hadn’t meant any harm when she’d thrown the rock; she just wanted to scare Missus Albatross for a joke, but the rock she threw had landed in Missus Albatross’ nest and one of her big, white eggs now lay broken.

Missus Albatross had been so upset that it had taken the whole Albatross flock almost an hour just to calm her down enough so that she could go back to her nest to look after her other egg.

When the Albatross found the rock, they knew what must have happened and started to ask everybody who threw the rock; that is when it had happened.

Mister Albatross gave Galapagos Duck the strangest look as she walked up to her; “It must have been an accident” Mister Albatross said to Galapagos “no one would do something like this deliberately.”

Galapagos could see the tears in Mister Albatross’ eyes as he spoke. Those big, tearful eyes looked down at Galapagos Duck “Do you know who threw the rock and accidentally broke our egg Galapagos?” he asked.

A big lump had suddenly formed in Galapagos throat and it made it really hard for her to speak as she answered and Mister Albatross’ eyes seemed to be able to see right into her heart as the little duck opened her beak to answer; “No Sir, I didn’t see anything at all” she said, staring at the ground because she couldn’t look Mister Albatross in the eye as she spoke.

“Alright young lady, I believe you. I know that you are an honest Duck” said Mister Albatross as he turned from the little duck with a sigh; “if you ever have anything you want to tell me, I’ll understand” he said as he walked away.

Galapagos felt very, very small as she sneaked down to the beach to look for food.

There was a lot of food down at the beach that day, but Galapagos found herself wandering along the sand ignoring all the tasty morsels; she just couldn’t forget how upset Missus Albatross had been when she saw her broken egg, or Mister Albatross’ eyes when Galapagos had lied to him.

For most of the day Galapagos told herself over and over that it was just a little white lie and that the egg would still be broken even if she had admitted to breaking it. Nothing helped though, every time she said “It was just a little white lie and the egg would still be broken if I had told the truth.” she could hear Missus Albatross crying and see Mister Albatross’ eyes staring down at her. She knew too, that there had been a sadness in Mister Albatross, voice when he had said; “if you ever have anything you want to tell me, I’ll understand”; Galapagos couldn’t help but think that Mister Albatross knew that she wasn’t telling the truth.

It was almost dark when Galapagos quietly walked back up to the nesting area; she’d been gone for the whole day, and, while the other young ducks had been playing down by the water, Galapagos had been walking along the beach thinking.

Galapagos had made up her mind and she knew what she had to do now; “Yes Galapagos, can I do something for you?” asked Mister Albatross in his deep, gentle voice. “Is there something that you want to tell me?”

“UMMM, Um, um, Aaraahh – how is Missus Albatross?” stammered Galapagos Duck as she felt that big lump start to grow in her throat again.

“She’s very, very upset – that was her first egg!” replied the big Albatross; “Was there anything else you wanted to say?” he asked with a hopeful sound in his voice.

“Well yes sir, there was something” started Galapagos, but the words just wouldn’t come; “Ummm, Aaarhg.” But then all of a sudden the words just seemed to fly out of Galapagos’ beak in a rush; “I threw the rock sir, I really didn’t mean anything, it was just a joke sir, but then it all went terribly wrong and I’m so terribly, terribly, terribly sorry!” said Galapagos, her voice trailing off as she ran out of breath.

The big Albatross’ eyes locked on Galapagos ”I believe you,” he said softly, “but I don’t understand why you lied to me” he said sadly.

“I thought it was only a little white lie” Galapagos replied “and I didn’t think it would hurt anybody.” She added shaking her little head.

“Well it looks like it hurt you” said Mister Albatross with a gentle smile as he rested his big wing on the little ducks shoulder. “You’ve been away on your own all day; but now it’s all OK. We understand that it was an accident and we forgive you, although it was pretty silly throwing rocks around where you might hit someone.” he added with a frown.

Galapagos felt so relieved now that she’d told the truth, she promised the two Albatross’ that she’d never throw rocks again.

Missus Albatross smiled gently at the young duck “It’s been a pretty terrible day hasn’t it Galapagos?” she said, “I bet you haven’t eaten all day, have you?”

The little duck shook her head, suddenly she realised that she was very, very hungry; Galapagos was so hungry that everyone could hear her stomach growling ”Why don’t you stay for dinner?” went on Missus Albatross; “we have more than enough to share.”

So Galapagos Duck shared dinner with Mister and Missus Albatross and thought about her day and the things she had learnt about honesty that she would never, ever forget.

Galapagos’ dad had always told her that the most important thing about mistakes was to learn from them and Galapagos knew that she’d made a lot of mistakes today.

Galapagos decided that the main thing she’d learnt today was that it was a lot easier to tell the truth right from the start and that even telling little white lies made her feel bad.

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About a foolhardy florilegium

Nullius addictus iurare in verba magistri
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