Paris Portingale

Talks with Famous People from History, Part Four: George Washington

Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851) by Emanuel Leutze

Paris Portingale continues his talks with famous people from history: Paris meets George Washington.


George Washington is mainly remembered for chopping down a cherry tree and crossing the Delaware River.

I said to George Washington, “So, why did you cross the Delaware River, Mr. Washington?

He said, “Do you remember that old joke, why did the chicken cross the road?”

“Yes, to get to the other side.”

“Well, that.”

“Right. And I believe you cut down your father’s favorite tree?”

“Yes, his cherry tree.”

“Why did you just confess like that?”

“I was only six. I thought it was no mean feat cutting down a tree at that age. A whole tree. And it wasn’t even an axe, it was a hatchet. A whole tree, six years old, with a hatchet. I thought that was pretty good, being six and all, but they didn’t see it that way.”

“Did you chop anything else?”

“A couple of things.”

“Like what?”

“You know, you’ve got a carriage, right?”


“And the carriage is pulled by horses and the horses are attached to a pole and that’s attached to the carriage? Well, I chopped the pole. They didn’t notice and tried to drive off. I thought it was funny, you know, at the time. I didn’t confess to that one.”


“Well, I was still getting over the whipping for the tree. The whole thing left me a bit wary.”

“Okay, I’ve got to go now. I’ve got to call in on Benedict Arnold. Good luck being president.”

“Thanks, and good luck with Arnold, he’s a slippery little beggar.”



Paris Portingale

Paris Portingale is a writer and dog owner. While having a somewhat indifferent attitude towards abstemious self-restraint, he does follow the safe guidelines of four standard drinks a day, although his standards are a great deal higher than most, certainly the medical profession’s. Paris is visited often in the night by God, and the meetings are anything but pleasant.

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