The Nails in The Fence

The Nails in The Fence

Madyson Tate

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said “I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you.”

“Of course I can,” said the father.


I interviewed Ashlee Ford regarding my inspirational story, The Nails in The Fence. This story is about a little boy who was using mean words when speaking to people. His father gave him a hammer and nails and every time he spoke a mean word, he had to go hammer a nail into a fence. Once the boy realized it is easier to quit saying mean things that it is to hammer a nail into a fence, he eventually stopped using those mean words. However, week by week his father had him go pull all the nails out of the fence, which left holes that could not be repaired. The moral of this story is that when you speak out of anger, those words really hurt people and leave a scar with them forever. Ashlee read the story I chose, and she agrees that this story really opens your eyes as to how words really do affect people. She states, “Many people our age would have never thought of it like this, Sometimes we should stop and think before we speak.” Words are something that you can not take back. Things can be forgiven but are typically not forgotten. Therefore, as the father taught the little boy, the holes in the fence remain forever.