Think Before You Speak
by: Emily J.

Once upon a time, there lived three friends: Nicole the owl, Grace the duck, and Maggie the magpie. Maggie was always into other people’s business, trying to find something she could make fun of. One day Maggie was wandering around looking for something to gossip about. While she was walking, she came across Grace, who was trying to swim. Grace was not the best swimmer, even though she was a duck. Maggie looked at her and said, “Ha-ha. You cant swim? That’s hilarious!”


Graced looked over, and was so stunned she couldn’t even say a word. Maggie looked at her and said, “Just wait till I tell everyone about this.”


All Grace could do was cry. Nicole saw Grace crying and went to talk to her. Grace looked at Nicole with tears running down her face and said, “Why does Maggie find such pleasure in making other people hurt?”


Nicole replied, “What happened?”


Grace told her the whole story about Maggie making fun of her for not being able to swim. Nicole was in shock that someone would do such a thing. Nicole said to Grace, “Don’t worry about it. I will talk to Maggie and see what I can do about it.”


So, Nicole went on to find Maggie while Grace went home. Grace was so disturbed by being made fun of - and what others might think - if Maggie actually told everyone about what she had seen.All she could do was sit and think about it. Nicole couldn’t find Maggie anywhere but kept on looking. Maggie saw Nicole and yelled, “Nicole, Nicole, you will never guess what I just found out about Grace.”


Nicole replied, “I know exactly what happened, and you really hurt her feelings. Do you think that making fun of her and telling everybody about her not being able to swim is what God would want you to do?”


Maggie sat there blank-faced with nothing to say. She finally decided to answer Nicole with, “I didn’t mean to hurt her. I guess I just didn’t think about how she would feel about it.”


Nicole looked at her and said gently, “Well, what do you think you should do about it?”


Maggie answered saying, “I guess I better go and apologize.”


So, Maggie the magpie was looking for Grace all over, but she was nowhere to be found. Maggie started to worry. She went through the forest yelling, “Grace, where are you? Grace are you okay?”


She was walking by the pond when she saw Grace still crying about being embarrassed. Maggie looked at her and said, “Grace I’m so sorry for what I said earlier this morning. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings!” Grace stopped crying and looked at Maggie and said, “Thanks for the apology. It really means a lot to me!”


Maggie asked Grace, “Hey, would you like to go out to lunch with me?”


Grace said, “Yes.”


As they were walking on their way to go to lunch, they saw Nicole and asked if she would like to go to lunch with them also. Nicole replied, “Yes, that would be great. I’m glad to see you two are friends again.” They all walked away with smiles on their faces and laughter in their voices. Now Maggie understood that if she didn’t stop making fun of people she would soon have no friends at all.


He who gossips will soon lose dear friends.