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A Leader Lends a Hand

Published September 15, 2000
Countries: None
Age Levels: 8 and up

Nearly 250 years ago on a cold and foggy morning, a group of war-torn soldiers were trying hard to move a tree that had fallen across the road.  They were pushing and pulling as an officer sat watching from the back of his horse.  The officer yelled and berated the men.  He rode his horse back and forth barking orders at the men.  But, no matter how hard they tried, the tree would not move.

All of this was observed from a nearby hillside by another rider.  The white haired, but muscular man gently nudged his horse down the hill and came closer and closer.  He rode up beside the officer and asked, "What is the problem?"

"We need to take our canon down this road," the officer said.  "You can see that this tree is blocking the path.  The ground is too soft on either side of the road to pull the canon around on the side of the road, and these men cannot move the tree."

"Why don't you help them?" the stranger asked, still sitting on the back of his horse.

"Why can't I help them?" echoed the officer.  "Can't you see?  I am an officer.  These men are enlisted men."

When he heard this, the tall man frowned and climbed down from his horse.  He joined the men and directed their efforts to move it.  He worked right beside them the entire time.  Once the tree was off to the side of the road, the tall man wiped off his hands and dusted off his cloak.  Then he mounted his horse.

Before he rode off, he made a single comment.  "Sir," he said to the officer.  "If your men need help again, call on me.  My name is Washington, General George Washington!" 


Dr. Mike Lockett is an educator, storyteller and children's author from Normal, IL. Dr. Lockett has given more than 4000 programs across the USA and as far away as eastern Asia. Contact Mike by writing to in order to book him for a storytelling program or young authors program or to inquire about purchasing his books and CDs.