Short story 11

“Waiter! Waiter! What soup is this?” “It’s bean soup sir.” “I don’t want to know what it’s been. I want to know what it is!”

George fell about laughing. He laughed, and he laughed, and he laughed. He felt almost sick he laughed so much.

Miss Lightfoot had previously seen George sitting alone in the school hall looking very low and had pointed him out to Mr Jones, the music master. Mr Jones had thought he would cheer him up with a joke, not relising he was a bit young.

George’s reaction was so sudden and extreme Mr Jones was a bit taken aback with the result.

“But that’s silly,” exclaimed George and continued to laugh again. “And it can’t be true.”

 “Can’t be true?”said Miss Lightfoot, looking puzzled.

.“I’ve been told we must not say things that aren’t true,” said George.

“You can sometimes,” said Mr Jones

“It’s got the words mixed up.” George could hardly say this. He was laughing so much.

“You can sometimes, if it’s a white lie.” continued Mr Jones, “When it’s a joke or to save somebody’s feelings.”


“It makes life easier.”

“That’s not right.”

“Stories are not always true. Are they? They are there for us to enjoy them.” Mr Jones was feeling awkward.

George carried on laughing.

Mr Jones and Miss Littlejohn looked at each other, bewildered, and walked away.

‘Grown-ups are very difficult!’ George thought.

He continued laughing.


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Thank you, Keith Beal