Mensch Stories

by Alison Dembsky


“Do not go up and down telling tales”

        “Andy climbed the easy rock wall over there. He fell off and got hurt on an easy rock wall! Such a wimp!” Jessica said.

        “H-h-how d-do you know that this actual-ly happened?” Mina bravely asked the bully.

        “Howie told me” Jessica said with her hands on her hips. “Don’t talk to me.”

        Mina couldn’t decide what to do. Howie had been her best friend in first grade, but now they were practically worst enemies! Mina eventually decided to talk to Andy himself. “Tomorrow,” she decided.

        That night, Mina tossed and turned. What would she say? When would she say it? When she finally fell asleep, it felt like she woke up twenty minutes after.

Mina was tired and grumpy when she walked in the classroom that morning. Andy was running late. Where was he? At lunch time, when Andy still wasn’t there, Mina decided to instead suck it up, and talk to Howie.

“Hi Howie,”she said in a small voice. “I heard Andy fell off of the easy rock wall.”

“Hi. I’m glad you heard, but you heard wrong. Andy loves rock climbing. As a matter of fact, he was climbing the most advanced rock wall, and it was very normal for him to fall. Stop bullying!”

“But you told Jessica that Andy fell off of the easy rock wall!”

“I only told her that it was amazing that Andy almost got to the top. She must have misinterpreted.”

After two more days of Andy not being in school, Mina decided to have a meeting with Andy, Howie, and Jessica so they could understand each other.

At the meeting, Mina decided to start. She talked about how she heard the whole story, and everyone listened. When she was done, Howie began to talk. She told everyone how she and Andy had been longtime friends, and how Andy had always loved rock climbing. When Andy had gotten so close to the top of the hardest rockwall, Howie said she couldn’t help but tell her best friend, Jessica. Now Jessica chimed in.

“You didn’t say the hard rockwall, and I thought you used a sarcastic voice. That’s why I thought it was the small rockwall. I then was very mean, and told everyone about it. Sorry Andy.”

Now Andy talked,”It’s okay, and anyway I heard people bullying me, and was kind of heart, so I stayed home the next day.”

 Jessica spoke, “So, that’s it. Bye guys!” Everyone said bye and was on their way.

Andy came to school the next day. Life went on as usual. No more telling tales!

A mensch is a person who does good. There are some values that help you do this. One is “do not go up and down telling tales.” This is very important when being a mensch, because it hurts others. Doing good is not hurting others. To sum up the story, don’t talk about others, even if what you are saying is good. This is because it could be taken in the wrong direction, and become a tale. Howie says something nice about Andy, and Jessica takes it the wrong way. She then tells Mina, and then bad things happen with Andy when she finds out about the whispering. Then everyone makes up at the end.

Distance yourself from a bad neighbor, and do not associate with a wicked person.”

        “Come on Mina! Let’s go take Leroy’s pencil! Then we can watch him try to ask Mrs. Smith for a new one, for the tenth time!” Howie told me. We had done this nine times before, but the last time we had done it, it hit me; this really hurt Leroy! The last time we stole his pencil, I saw his face. It was red with embarrassment. Then I saw him put his pencil carefully in his desk, the spot where it always went missing. Other than him, I was the last one in the room. When I left, I heard sniffling.

        “I-I don’t r-really think that’s the best idea.” I finally decided to speak up.

        “Ha ha very funny. Why?” I didn’t know what to say to Howie. I decided to just walk away.

“Come back here Mina right this instant!” Howie told me.

“No, you are cruel!” I responded. I then proceeded to walk away.

That was that. It’s not like we never talked, we just never were friends again.

You can be a mensch by not hanging out with mean people. By not encouraging them, you are being helpful to your community. To sum up the story, don’t hang out with mean people because then they will keep doing what they are doing. In the story, Mina goes along with Howie nine times before she realizes what she is doing is bad. In this time Leroy loses his pencil and gets in trouble nine times. Then Mina realizes that she wouldn’t want to be Leroy, so she stops hanging out with Howie.

Bad People 

By Mina

        I believe that there is no such thing as a bad human. I think that sometimes people do bad things, but they are not bad people. If Howie went nine times before realizing that what she was doing was wrong, then she was not trying to be mean. This means that she certainly is not a bad person. If Howie knew that what she was doing was wrong, wouldn’t apologise, or even just refused to see Leroy, or anyone else's, point of view, than it would be different. I don’t believe she would be a bad person, just that she made bad decisions. This is a bad thing to do, but doesn’t mean she is a bad person.

         The only way that I can think of to become a bad person, is to not be human. To do this, you would need to do something on purpose, that really hurt someone. I’m not saying that you should go around being mean because it won’t make you a bad person, because if you do it on purpose you wouldn’t be a good one. I’m just saying that you should give people another chance to talk it out, even if they are mean to you. Think about how it makes others feel.