A Lesson in Manners A Lesson in Manners
Click to Start TimerClick "I read this story!" to stop the timer.BeeOasis Step 2 One morning there was a loud knock at Dean Swift’s... A Lesson in Manners

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thank youOne morning there was a loud knock at Dean Swift’s door. His servant opened it. There was a man outside holding a fat duck that had just been killed.

“Here’s a present for Dean. It’s from Mr. Boyle,” the man said. He pushed the bird into the servant’s arms. Then, without another word, he turned and walked away.

A few days later the man came again. This time he brought a partridge. “Here’s another bird from Mr. Boyle,” he said. Again, he tossed the bird into the servant’s arms and walked away.

Now, Mr. Boyle was a neighbor of Dean Swift. He spent a good deal of time shooting animals for fun. He liked Dean Swift very much. He took pleasure in sending Dean gifts, and he often sent over his best animals.

The third time, the man brought another bird. “Here’s something else for Dean,” he said roughly and pushed it into the servant’s arms.

Later that day, the servant complained to her master. “That fellow has no manners,” she said.

“The next time he comes,” said Dean, “let me know, and I will go to the door.”

It was not long until the man came with another present. Dean went to open the door.

“Here’s a rabbit from Mr. Boyle,” said the man.

“Now look,” said Dean, in a hard voice, “that is not the way to deliver a message. Just step inside and pretend that you are Dean Swift. I will go outside and pretend that I am you. I will show you how a messenger should act.”

“I’ll agree to that,” said the man, and he stepped inside. Dean took the rabbit and went out of the house. He walked up the street to the next block. Then he came back and knocked on the door.

The door was opened by the man from Mr. Boyle’s. Dean bent gracefully and said, “If you please, sir, Mr. Boyle says hello, and he wishes you to accept this fine rabbit.”

“Oh, thank you,” said the man very nicely. Then, he gave Dean a dollar. “And here is something for your trouble.”

The lesson in manners was not forgotten. After that, the man was very nice when he brought his presents. He became much better at his job, and many people considered him the very best messenger in town. And Dean learned something, too. He always remembered to give the man a tip for his trouble. And so Dean Swift became even more loved by everyone around for his generosity.

This story is adapted from Fifty Famous People by James Baldwin.

I read this story! Honestly!

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