Learn English – The worst punishment I ever had as a child

When I was 7 years old, I lied to my mom.  And I never forgot how she punished me!


Hey there. I was a good girl growing up, but one time my mom caught me lying. Do you know how she punished me? It was awful!

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

Yes, I was one of those good girls who never did anything wrong. Do you believe me? It isn’t true, but I did like praise from my parents. I did like my teachers thinking well of me and thinking I was good. So, I practiced looking good and being good. But on the inside, I wasn’t very good.

And one time my mother caught me telling a lie. I don’t know how she did that. I don’t know how she knew, but she caught me. I was about seven years old. 

And back when I was a child, we didn’t have movies that you could play in the house. Any movie that we watched was on TV. And my favorite movie at age seven was Peter Pan. And Peter Pan was going to come on Sunday night. And it was Sunday afternoon when my mother caught me in a lie. 

I must have been constipated. Do you know what that means,  constipated? That means when you can’t go to the bathroom, number two, the hard stuff. So, my mom’s solution, her remedy for constipation, when you can’t go to the bathroom, was to give me some prunes to eat. Prunes are a dry fruit. They come from the plum and when it dries, it’s called a prune. And supposedly, apparently, it helps you go to the bathroom and helps you go number two. 

I didn’t like prunes. So, Sunday afternoon, after lunch, my mom set out on the kitchen counter, she put four or five prunes in a dish on the counter and left them for me and said, “Maria, eat your prunes.”

I don’t know where she went, but I did not eat my prunes. I don’t know what I did with them, but I didn’t eat them.

She must not have trusted me because a while later she said, –Maria, did you eat your prunes?

— Yes, mom, I ate my prunes.  

–Show me the prune pits!

The prune pits are those big seeds that you don’t eat. You spit them out. You take them out. She said, 

–Where are the pits?

I said, lying, 

–I threw them in the trash can in the kitchen.

Do you know what she said? She said,

–Show them to me, dig them out of the trash can.

And so…..I went to the trash can and I pretended to dig. I went through the whole trash can, knowing there were no prune pits in the trash can. Finally, I had to say,

–I didn’t eat them.

Do you know what she did? She said,

–Okay, your punishment is you cannot watch Peter Pan tonight. What? I could not believe it. I said,

–Mom, I’ve been waiting a whole year to watch Peter Pan. You can’t do this to me!

–Oh yes I can. You lied.

I started to cry. She did not change her mind. Not at all. She held firm to her word. I did not get to watch Peter Pan. It was awful. But you know what? I never forgot. Obviously! That happened decades ago and I still remember it as the very worst punishment I ever had.

Did that cure me of lying? No, I just got more clever at hiding my lies, at lying better, with more skill. I told you I wasn’t a very good person. 

But thanks be to God, I have stopped lying. I don’t want to lie anymore. Once in a while, a lie will slip out automatically. But as soon as it comes out, I say, “I am so sorry. That’s not true. I just lied to you. Please forgive me. I, I don’t know why…”

I’ve gotten to where I can do that. So, I don’t lie very much anymore. It…..it costs too much. It hurts too much to come out and say, “I just lied to you.”

Well, that’s my story about the very worst punishment I ever had as a child. What about you? What do you remember? I’m sure you have a good story. And if you would like the words to today’s episode, the written transcript, just go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com And a day after this YouTube uploads, hopefully I’ll have the written transcript there for you. Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria. Talk to you next time.

 (Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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