A Story Especially for Girls Based on Antigua & Barbuda’s Proverb: Trustworthy and Unreliable

Mama and Papa Deer have two little deer:
Trustworthy and Unreliable.
Trustworthy says, “Yes!” when she means yes and “No” when she means no.
Unreliable makes BIG promises without thinking.

Trustworthy says, “Mama, I’ll help make breakfast.”
Mama replies, “Thank you! How kind!”
Mama boils the water and Trustworthy measures the cornmeal and maple syrup.
Unreliable says, “I’ll clean up the breakfast dishes all by myself.”
Mama replies, “Thank you! How kind!”
Papa offers, “Would you like me to help?”
Unreliable declines, “I want to do it all by myself.”

An hour later Papa has left for work. Mama finds a messy kitchen, dirty dishes and Unreliable playing under the table.
“What happened? Didn’t you say you wanted to clean the kitchen all by yourself?”
Unreliable sheepishly apologizes, “Sorry, I forgot.”
“How sad, now the cornmeal mush will need extra scrubbing action.”
Trustworthy offers, “I’ll help with the bubbles! We’ll make it a game.”

After finishing the dishes, Trustworthy and Unreliable go out to play.
The Turtle Twins come by.
“Please come to the park today.”
Unreliable blurts out, “I’m coming. I promise.”
Trustworthy says, “I’d love to come but I need to check with Mama first.”
Mama says, “We are going to St. John’s to visit Grandma and Grandpa. You’ll have to take a rain check for a play date.”
“Oh no! I promised…”
Tears well up in the Turtle Twins eyes, “You promised!”

At Grandma and Grandpa’s, Trustworthy and Unreliable go exploring with Grandpa.
Grandma and Mama request, “Please make sure you come back to eat at 5:00 p.m. sharp.”
After collecting shells, Grandpa says, “Time to go!”
Trustworthy and Unreliable say, “Coming, Grandpa!”
Trustworthy comes but Unreliable dawdles.
By the time Unreliable arrives everyone is waiting and the fish, okra and pineapple are burnt and cold.

After dinner, Snake slithers up to Unreliable.
“I’ll tell you a BIG secret if you promise not to tell,” says Snake.
“I promise,” says Unreliable without thinking.
Snake says, “I knocked over and broke your Mama’s favorite vase,” and he slithers away.
“Who broke my vase?” cries Mama.
“I didn’t,” says Trustworthy.
“Unreliable, you are the only other one…”
“Oh no! I didn’t either. Papa, what should I do? I promised not to tell.”
“Read this proverb:” says Papa.
“Big promises make many fools.”

Unreliable decides, “I don’t want to be a fool. I’m going to stop making promises that I can’t keep.”

And do you know what? She isn’t Unreliable anymore. She’s called Reliable and only makes promises she can keep.

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