Twinkle, twinkle, little star.
No – wait – that isn’t what you are.
My first-grade teacher set me wise:
That stars are really angel’s eyes
Peeking through holes in pie-crust skies.
So many years have come and gone
Since that odd day when it was done.
When teacher stood before our class
And told that lie. I wanted to ask,
But never would I my teacher sass.
So I kept quiet, but wondered long
About how teachers can be wrong.
Not that she didn’t know the truth;
She did, but relied on our youth
To carry out her unkind spoof.
Thank God that I did not believe;
I’m not so easy to deceive.
For though so young, I had insight:
God’s truth had shed in me its light,
And to that truth I did hold tight.
Now, older, I still ask myself
Why grownups have for ages felt
That, for some reason undefined,
We must plant lies in children’s minds.
When truth would be so much more kind.
We mean no harm, but still it’s lies.
And I have known some children cry
When truth was finally revealed,
And hurt at such betrayal sealed
In little hearts where trust was killed.
Dear grownups, let us stop and think:
These young minds tremble on the brink
Of glorious wonders to be learned.
Their eager minds to us are turned –
In trust – and by truth, trust is earned.
(First line borrowed from Jane Taylor’s poem “The Star,” published in 1806.)