Teary Joe

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Story File


Effort and joy, avoid tears

Main Lesson

Children who cry to get what they want are missing out on a lot of great stuff.


Any city


Two boys

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Teary Joe

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Moral stories for kids

A short story about getting things through crying

Teary Joe was a boy with a special ability: he could make himself cry in less than a second. If he disliked something, or things became difficult, or someone contradicted him, Teary Joe would not hesitate to put on a pitiful face and set great big tears running down his cheeks. In this way he managed to get practically everything he wanted, because no one could resist the pity inspired by his tearful little face.

But one day, Teary Joe met Pipo. Pipo was asking people in the street for some change, in return for him helping them in any way he could. Pipo was very poor; he had no home and no family, so he made a living however he could. Even so, Pipo always had the biggest of smiles on his face.

Joe took to Pipo, so he decided to help him out in making some money. He went over next to Pipo, took off his hat, put it face-up on the ground, and started crying with the most pitiful of expressions.

Instant success! In a few minutes, Joe’s hat was full of coins and sweets, but when Joe offered all this to Pipo, Pipo declined.

-“I prefer deserving what I receive,”

answered Pipo with his usual smile,

-“It’s much more fun making an effort to get things. You know what? Today I’ve washed a dog, I’ve collected hundreds of nails with a magnet, tidied a wardrobe full of paintings, accompanied a blind old lady to the park.. maybe I haven’t gotten everything I’ve wanted, but I’ve done a load of interesting things. And how about you? How have things been for you?”

Teary Joe didn’t answer; he just walked sadly away. Joe had gotten everything he wanted, but he’d done practically nothing of interest the whole day. He hadn’t even enjoyed himself, what with spending almost all his time crying.

That evening, having returned home, Joe requested a delicious cake for his supper. When his mother said no, Joe tried to cry but, remembering Pipo and how joyful he was, and seeing his own reflection in the mirror, Joe couldn’t do it. Instead, he asked himself how could use the situation to do something interesting.

So he tried to get the cake in some other way. To the joy and surprise of his parents, Joe spent the whole evening helping his mother to tidy and label the pantry, water the plants and organise the library books.

In the end there was no cake. But that wasn’t so bad, because Joe discovered it had been much more fun doing all those things that evening rather than just sitting crying to get a piece of cake that, in the end, wouldn’t have been worth it.

Average: 7.8 (12 votes)
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