1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

Telling Time and Fibs

Lying is a sin that slaps a black spot onto your heart. I sincerely hoped fibbing was in a different category.

“Who knows how to tell time?” asked Miss Hurlburt.

Being one of the smart kids, I waved my hand in the air.

“This clock isn’t correct. Mary, please go out to the hallway clock and tell me the time.”

I lowered my hand and hovered at my desk.

“Are you sure you can tell time?” she asked.

The other kids turned to see what I’d say, leaving only one answer possible.

The face of a fibber

The face of a fibber

Alone in the hallway, I stared up at the big round clock. Instead of two hands, the dumb thing had three hands, with one of them moving around pretty fast. Tears welled up, threatening to overflow. My stomach got cold and felt like a big stone sat inside it. A mother exited a classroom down the hall. Her footsteps echoed as she walked past me.She paused, turned back, and asked, “Do you need help?”

“My teacher wants to know what time it is,” I mumbled.

I proudly returned to the room and loudly gave the correct time. No lesson was learned about fibbing, but that evening I learned how to tell time.

It turned out that I wasn’t the only fibber in our family.

No wonder the two fibbers can't tell time. Look at the clock!

No wonder the two fibbers can’t tell time. Look at the clock!
David and I are on the far left.

David’s teacher appeared at our classroom doorway and asked to see me.“You forgot to give your brother his lunch money this morning.”

“I don’t have his lunch money,” I answered.

“You have come to my room a few times in the past with his money. David said your mother gave it to you this morning. Did you leave it in your desk?”

“Mom gave us each our own money today,” I replied.

I was escorted outside David’s classroom where he joined us in the hallway, swearing that I had his lunch money. His teacher scolded me for lying and losing the money.

When we got home, his lunch money lay beside the goldfish bowl, right where he left it. I wanted Mom to punish him, preferably with the first whipping in our household.

“That was wrong to get your sister in trouble for something you did,” Mom told him. Then she ruined it by turning to me and adding, “He must have been terribly afraid to tell his teacher he forgot his money.”

I told David I planned to inform each of our teachers about his lie, but he looked so panic-stricken that I changed my mind. Why couldn’t I look as sweet and sympathetic?

Lesson learned: Don’t raise your hand unless you know the answer. And make sure your little brother wraps his lunch money in a tissue and puts it in his pocket.

Related posts: Pandemonium Trail/Turtle Thief


Now it’s your turn: What is a fib that you told your teacher?


© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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