The Prince Who Did Not Speak



Story 1

When I was first married I wanted to impress my young wife with my wisdom and other attributes. She was very much in love with me, as indeed I was with her. I used to work as a scribe in the temple and though not a priest I had a certain amount of respect paid to me by many of the worshippers. One day, I thought I would tell my wife how they treated me, but I got carried away. I told her that the local Prince had visited with a number of his dignitaries (as he had, but on a day when I was actually running an errand in another part of the town). I told her that he had offered me ‘namaste’, a respectful gesture, and that he had spoken to me.

“What did he say?” she asked eagerly. But it was too late. My guilt had overcome me. I blushed and stammered and told her I could not remember. I turned away, worried by my dishonesty, but I was determined to show her how important I felt I had become. She looked at me quizzically.

“Ah, yes, the prince told me that ours was a very beautiful temple and that the writings were very well presented.” I felt myself blush to the very roots of my hair. I glanced back at my wife half-hoping she hadn’t heard me, or noticed my blushes.

She looked at me long and hard, then she said, “I know you were not at temple the day before yesterday, because you told me what you had to do before you set off for work. I, on the other hand, was at temple and I watched the Prince throughout the course of his visit. Neither were you there, nor did he offer ‘namaste’ to any of the priests, staff or worship­pers. Shame on you, my husband! Do you not think that I love you enough, so that you want to impress me and make me love you more? Well I do not love you less for having lied to me, but please do not do it again!”

I felt so embarrassed and humiliated. Why had I been so vain as to lie about such an unimportant thing and make myself look foolish to my wife?

I hung my head in shame. She laughed and squeezed my hand.

“Don’t worry, My Dear! I already know you aren’t perfect, but just remember that you are good enough for me, and I love you!”

Some questions to ask yourself:

How important to you is it that you can trust your friends to be honest and speak the truth?

How do you feel about yourself when you tell lies?


Guidance on Truth