Part III — Stories

Gandhi passes his own examination

Gandhi would never tell a lie. Once the inspector visited his school class and gave a few words of dictation. The third word was 'kettle'. Gandhi's friends were able to spell the word properly, but unfortunately Gandhi did not know how.

The inspector began going around to each and every student to check the papers. The teacher saw that Gandhi's spelling was wrong, so with his foot he touched Gandhi's leg to draw Gandhi's attention. With his eyes he was telling Gandhi to look at somebody else's paper. But Gandhi did not want to copy from anyone.

When the inspector came to Gandhi, he said, "Here I have found a mistake. This boy does not know how to spell 'kettle'. He has written it 'ketle'."

The inspector didn't get angry, but he was sad that one person did not know the answer. Finally the inspector left.

The teacher was very angry with Gandhi. "I told you to look at your friend's paper, but you didn't listen to me. You are a disgrace to my class."

Gandhi said, "I may be a disgrace, but I can't tell a lie and I can't say anything that is false."

Gandhi was sad that he had made a mistake and had not been able to please his teacher, but he was happy that he had at least pleased himself by being honest.

The teacher was silent.