The Well of Truth by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss is the story about telling the truth. Most children experiment with lying and for many young children, this is common. To learn more about developmental age and lying, check out this article by Parenting.com here.
The Well of Truth is a folktale about three friends including Goat, Rooster and Donkey who all decide to try farming clover. They love the taste of clover and work hard to grow it over time. Growing clover takes time and Donkey becomes very impatient with the process. He constantly asks, “Is it ready now?” He grows impatient which makes the process seem even longer! His friends tell him to wait and be patient because the longer they wait, the sweeter the clover. The night before they are going to pick the clover, Donkey decides to take a small taste of the clover when his friends are fast asleep. One small taste leads to another and then ultimately Donkey eats the whole field of clover. Donkey goes to bed with a stomachache and a swollen belly that night. The next morning, his friends anxiously await their sweet meal of clover. When they reach the field, there is no clover! Rooster and Goat ask Donkey about the missing clover. He says “Oh no, It wasn’t me. One of you must have eaten the clover”. His friends are suspicious of Donkey’s swollen belly and decide to use the Well of Truth. Goat explains, “We will all jump over the well. Anyone who tells a lie will fall in and stay there for two months and one night”. Goat and Rooster both jump without falling in. When Donkey jumps, he falls right in the well and stays there for two months and one day.
I like this story because its a good lesson about patience and honesty. Ask your child, “What is worse, that Donkey ate all of the clover or that he lied about it? Why?” The Well of Truth helps teach children that there are consequences to lying and can help lead an excellent discussion about what Donkey should have done instead of lying. Ask your child these additional questions to start a thoughtful conversation; Should he have told his friends that night? How about in the morning after they already discovered the empty field? How did this friends feel?
Are you a teacher? Check out these lesson plans by August House Publishing which offers lesson plans that meet with Common Core standards for kindergarten, first and second grade. For more educational resources, check out August House’s Learning Resources here.
Do you want to learn more about the authors and storytelling? Check out their website, Beauty and the Beast Storytellers here.