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Washington And The Corporal


Here is a story taken from a 6th grade reader that was published in 1926. You don't see this kind of story in our texts any more.

Washington and the Corporal

While the Revolutionary War was going on, a small squad of soldiers, under the command of a corporal, were building a fort. As the men were straining every muscle in an attempt to place a very heavy log in position, the corporal, without lending a hand, kept shouting:"Heave away! All together! Heave Ho!"

A man, who looked as if he might be a well-to-do farmer, rode up, and asked the commander of the squad why he did not assist his men in that work. Turning toward the newcomer, he replied, with a grand air: "Sir, I am a corporal."

I beg your pardon, Mr. Corporal; I was not aware of your rank," said the man, taking off his hat and bowing. He then dismounted, and helped the soldiers place the heavy timbers, until sweat stood in drops on his forehead.

When the work had been finished, he turned to the man in command of the squad, and said: "Mr. Corporal, when you need help on another such job, send for your commander-in-chief, and I shall come and assist you a second time."

The corporal was thunderstruck. It was Washington, the commander-in-chief of the army, who he had been ordering about for the last half hour.

Last updated: Aug, 2010
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