The Song of the Cuckoo

a person should be honest in the first instance
no matter how harsh the truth is


Once, the mother of Mahatma Gandhi, Putlibai Gandhi was fasting and she let it be known that she would break the fast only when the she heard the song of the cuckoo.

She waited a long time but, alas, the cuckoo did not sing. Gandhi Ji was a small child then and he felt very sad that his mom would not take a morsel of food.


A brilliant idea crossed the mind of the adoring child. He rushed to the back garden and imitated the song of the cuckoo. He came back to the house, went up to his mom and said-
‘Maa, you can eat now; the cuckoo has sung!’


His mom unfortunately would not be fooled and she got very angry.
‘I am ashamed to have a son like you!’ she said.
’How can you speak such a lie? A lie is a sin!’ she added.


Gandhi Ji was heartbroken. He realized that his mother was extremely upset. He also understood that he had made a big mistake by lying to his mother. From that moment, he vowed that he would never tell a lie in his whole life. He never did.


Mother is, undoubtedly, our first and most important teacher. The bond of love between mother and child is sacred. It is the purity of this relationship that makes every lesson, that we learn from our mother, a lesson for life. We may forget what the school master teaches but, not what is taught by our mother.

Gandhi believed in honesty. Trying to conceal a lie may require a person to lie even more and this becomes a vicious circle. Therefore, a person should be honest in the first instant, no matter how harsh the truth is.

Image Jill Dinsmore

Goat Story

One day, an old and worn-out goat was quietly crossing over a bridge under which a river was flowing. Coming in the opposite direction gallantly, was a sturdy young goat. When they reached the middle of the bridge, they realized there was not enough room for two goats to pass. They halted. The young goat said in a threatening voice, ready to come to thorns-
‘Out of the way you so and so! I am in a hurry!’
The old goat felt the looming sparks of hostility in the air. He had fought several fights in his life and this young goat, he thought, would be K.O in the first round! But wisdom dawned upon him.
‘The bridge is made of bamboo and is not solid. What if it collapses during the struggle? We will both fall into the river with dire consequences!’ He reflected.
‘Look here, young chap!’ He addressed his opponent with diplomacy. ’There is no point in fighting! I will lie down on my tummy and you can walk across on my back!’
No sooner said than done, each goat went off on his way happily!
-Anita Bacha-