The boy who was too rude to others

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Story File


Respect and politeness

Main Lesson

Rudeness harms not just those on the receiving end but also those who are rude.


A small old town


A wizard and a young boy

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The boy who was too rude to others

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Un cuento para evitar las faltas de respeto y el abuso

“Oh, Great Wizard! A great tragedy has occurred! Little Manu has stolen the magic potion with the ‘Word Thrower’ spell”.

“Manu? But that’s the bad-mannered child who insults everyone! How awful. We have to stop him before he drinks it!”

But it was already too late. Manu ran around the city insulting anyone he came across just to see the effect of his words and their letters. It was as if these were ghosts that, when hurled at people, passed straight through them and turned them into whatever Manu had said.

“Manu, stop doing that! You’re hurting everybody. Quick, please drink this other potion to undo the spell before it’s too late!”

“I don’t want to! This is too much fun! And I am the only one who has the power to do it. Ha, ha, ha, ha! Idiots! Stupid! Baldy! Oldie!” He launched into a tirade of insults.

I have an idea, master,” said one of the wizard helpers as they escaped from Manu’s words. “We could give the potion to everyone”.

“Are you crazy? That would be a terrible idea. If this is the result of just one child hurling insults, imagine what it would be like if everyone did it! I have to think of something.”

In the seven days it took for the wizard to come up with something, Manu took charge of the city. Everyone served and obeyed him out of fear. Luckily, the wizard was able to use his magic to reach Manu during the night and give him a few drops of the new potion while he was sleeping.

Manu woke up ready to have fun at the expense of others. But as soon as the butler entered, carrying his breakfast, hundreds of letters flew towards Manu, forming many words, among which he could only make out “bully”, “tormentor” and “rude”. On coming into contact with his skin, the letters dissolved, stinging him very badly.
The boy shouted, threatened and used terrible words, but soon realised that the butler had seen nothing.

Nor had anyone from whom further bursts of horrible letters were uttered in his direction. In one single day, the spells made of words had gone from being the most fun in the world to the worst.

“That’s the wizard’s doing, no doubt. Tomorrow, I’ll go and see him to get him to lift the spell from me.”

But as much as he cried and asked for forgiveness, it was too late for the antidote.

“You will have to learn to live with both spells: ‘word throwing’ and ‘thought receiving’. Used correctly, they could be useful…

Manu could barely go outside his house. He had behaved so badly towards everyone that, even if they were too afraid to tell him to his face, they thought horrible things of him, and when these thoughts touched him they burned like fire. He started to stay in alone all the time.

One day, a little girl saw his sad face and felt sorry for him. She thought she might like to be friends with him and when this thought touched Manu’s skin, instead of pain he felt something lovely. Manu had an idea.

“What if I were to use the ‘Word Thrower’ spell with good words? Would it work the other way round?” Manu wondered.

He tested it by telling the young girl how lovely and clever she was. And, sure enough, his words flew towards her, transforming her appearance incredibly. The girl didn’t say anything, but her appreciative thoughts made Manu feel the best he had ever felt.

Excited, Manu walked the streets using his gift to help and improve the people he met. In the process, he managed to change people’s bad opinions of him and he soon realised that he could have done this from the outset. If he had been kind and polite, everyone would have been a winner.

The effect of the potions eventually disappeared but Manu didn’t go back to his old ways. He had learnt that it was much better to feel everyone’s affection and friendship than to insult and be rude to others in an attempt to feel better than them.

Translated by Toni Wainwright, Ellie Bradbury, Josie Maguire and Lewis Hughes, Manchester Metropolitan University

Let's work on this story, now that is fresh on our minds!

A minute for thinking

Manu thinks it's funny to laugh at other people. Do you think that others like being laughed at? Do you think anything goes just so you can have a laugh? What might you do before you speak so that your jokes and funny comments are not offensive to others?

Let's talk!

At the beginning of the story Manu is feared for his power, and at the end he is loved because of it. Or to be more accurate, because of how he uses that power. Talk to your child about their main qualities and show them how they could be used for good or bad. Also talk to them about your best qualities and tell them how you use them to improve your life and the lives of others.

Why don't you try this?

Today we'll create a ’word thrower’ spell. For this, we'll buy magnetic letters (about 3 of each letter) or we'll make them. A small blackboard might even do. Every morning, take turns to ‘throw’ a short positive message (three or four words) to someone in the family by writing it on the fridge before they get up. You will see how exciting it is to discover the day’s message and what a lovely atmosphere it creates.

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