There once was a boy with a very bad temper. The boy’s father wanted to teach him a lesson, so he game him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper he must hammer a nail into their wood fence.

On the first day of this lesson, the little boy had driven 40 nails into the fence.   He was really mad.

The little boy was so angry he hammered 40 nails in the fence the first day.

Over the cross of the next few weeks, the little boy began to control his temper, so the number of nails that were hammered into the fence dramatically decreased.  It wasn’t long before the little boy discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.


Then, the day finally came when the little boy didn’t lose his temper even once, and he became so proud of himself, he couldn’t wait to tell his father.

Pleased, his father suggested that he now pull out one nail for each day that he could hold his temper.removing-nail

Several weeks went by and the day finally came when the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Very gently, the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

The father pointed out the nail holes in the fencing, explaining the nails can be removed but scars remain.

The little boy listened carefully as his father continued to speak.  “When you say things in anger, they leave permanent scars just like these. And no matter how many times you say you’re sorry the wounds will still be there.”

-Author Unknown-



Would it be safe to say, we’ve all been here, at some point in life? I know I personally have and sometimes cringe when I think about what I’ve said or done without giving thought to how it may affect the other person.  So, I’ll admit, I’ve driven nails, retrieved nails and left scars upon hearts.

Whether a child, a teen or adult, learning to stop and think before saying what crosses the minds is often a difficult lesson.  This is especially true for children and teens who are still learning to understand there are consequences for all actions, good or bad.

Teaching children to use caution before speaking can save feelings, families and friendships from being hurt.This doesn’t mean it won’t happen again but maybe it’ll happen less often.

Remember, once hurtful or angry words are spoken, they can’t be unspoken and even if forgiven, may not be forgotten.

I’ve read this parable many times and came across in the local Joelton Shopper distributed to local residents.   It can also be found, along with more inspirational stories at

Hope you enjoyed!

-Tonya Steele

VIATonya Steele
Previous articleLonely with an Invisible Illness
Next articleCounselor Helps Student With Loaded Gun
I’m a dedicated, fair and objective reporter/journalist currently reporting and writing for the I-24 Exchange Newspaper, circulated and distributed each week to nearly 10000 residential mailboxes, in Northern Cheatham County, Tennessee. My main objective for Cheatham News is to provide current news coverage with a wide range of compelling topics that interest the youth of today, elderly and everyone in between through an online platform. Cheatham News will focus on local and county news including politics, breaking news, community schools, sports, city and county council meetings but there’ll be more the local news. I aspire to focus on what life is like, in our little corner of the world, where my family and I live in a small southern town. The southern sayins’, ole wives tales, recipes and mannerisms are a part of history I’d like to keep alive in the fast paced world of today. It brings me joy to share the uniqueness of life in a small southern town. You can learn more about myself, representatives and sponsors affiliated with Cheatham News and contributing authors biographies and credentials under the ‘About’ tab on the Home Page.