FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

A lesson from the jujube

Betsy, a ninth-grader, was the oldest girl in her family. It was her job to mow the lawn every two weeks. Among the trees surrounding the lawn was a Chinese jujube that sent long roots throughout the grass. Tiny jujube sprouts came from these roots. If Betsy clipped these sprouts off carefully at the roots when they first appeared, they would cease to grow. But if she ran the lawn mower over them, only cutting off the tops, the shoots would turn into tough little plants with sharp thorns.

One day, while tossing a Frisbee with her younger sister, Betsy stepped barefoot on one of these jujube plants, and a thorn went into her toe. Her mother pulled the thorn out, but Betsy complained that the toe still hurt. "Then, we'll have to know the truth, won't we?" her mother said.

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