The Truth

Lili Forgács

In my kindergarten there was a boy, Joey, who couldn’t say a sentence that was totally true. He didn’t tell lies, he just exaggerated all the time. Although his fellows knew his stories couldn’t have happened, they loved hearing those unbelievable tales.

One day Joey and his friends were playing together in the kindergarten yard. They played hide-and-seek. In the third round, Joey and a girl called Katherine found the same hideout: both of them hid under the slide.
“I was here first,” Katherine said.
“I don’t think so” the boy replied, then added, “Hey, do you like spiders?”
“Not really. Why?”
“Oh, just there is one in your hair. But don’t worry, it’s large enough to eat your whole head.”
“What?” The girl became terrified, started screaming, then jumped out of the hideout.
“Aha Katherine! You’re found, you will be the next seeker,” the seeker said when he spotted the girl.
At that moment a very tiny spider jumped out of the girl’s hair and ran away.

Later that afternoon, Joey told everybody how Katherine was frightened by a dreadful mutant spider.
“The spider was greater than anything you can imagine,” he told the others. “Even larger than an elephant.”
“That is not true, Joey. You know this is not what happened exactly, and I don’t like people who don’t tell the truth.” Katherine cut the boy short when he started the same story for the hundredth time, then she left.

The next day Joey apologized to Katherine and promised not to exaggerate again in his life.
“It’s OK, Joey.”
“In addition… I would like to ask that… omm… will we hide together again?” he asked shyly.
“Yes, of course,” the girl answered. This was the start of a new friendship, and of a new lifestyle for Joey in which he always told the truth.