Honesty, perseverance, loyalty, courage, self-discipline and responsibility are just a few of the virtues that parents try to instill in their offspring.
I received a book called "The Book of Virtues" as a Christmas gift this year, and I've begun to share some of its wisdom with my boys.
"The Velveteen Rabbit" spoke clearly to them of the importance and value of a good friend, while "The Little Red Hen" showed them the benefits of work. The story of David and Goliath brought about an interesting discussion on courage and faith.
The boys had one up on me, however, when we began to discuss honesty. They all clamored to tell me the story of "Too Much Nose."
The story of "Too Much Nose" was presented to the children at Freedom Elementary School last week as part of a cultural program sponsored by the school's PTA.
With two actors, the Interact Story Theatre presented a hilarious fast-paced Italian folk tale of the three Roni brothers -- Fruity, Tootie and Toni -- and a wicked queen.
As a gift from their father, each of the three boys received a gift that had magical powers. Fruity's hat allowed him to become invisible, Tootie's horn summoned a genie to grant wishes and Toni's magic purse contained an endless supply of coins.
The wicked and greedy queen managed to trick the boys into giving her their magical gifts. While they were lamenting their losses, Toni ate some figs from a nearby tree.
The figs caused his nose to grow. Fortunately, he found the antidote for his ailment when he ate some cherries.
Toni then went to the palace to trick the queen into returning the magical gifts. By providing the cherry antidote to others with the problem of too much nose and curing them of the condition, Toni had the queen ready to receive her cure.
But instead of giving the queen the cherries, he gave her water. Of course, this didn't do anything for her long nose.
Toni then confessed that the cure only worked for those who were honest and had never stolen anything.
Anxious to rid herself of too much nose, the queen relented and returned the magical gifts to Toni and his brothers.
Throughout the 45-minute program, Freedom students participated by imitating the march of the queen's palace guards, providing sound effects and singing.
We are less than two weeks away from one of the sporting world's biggest events -- the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl has become almost like a national holiday for many Americans. I lost interest in football the night the Colts sneaked out of town.
Still, the game is an event unto itself and fans looking for a place to enjoy this year's game can attend a party at American Legion Post No. 223 in Sykesville.
The party begins at 5 p.m. Jan. 29.
Tickets are $15 per person and include an all-you-can-eat buffet, cash bar and the game on a big-screen television.
Tickets may be reserved by calling the post at 795-7242.
Bird lovers will want to be sure to pick up a winter supply of seed. The Nature Center at Piney Run Park will be open Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. for the sale.
Nature Center members had the opportunity to call in seed orders and receive a 10 percent discount, but nonmembers can still purchase seed at reasonable prices.
Seed is available in 5-, 25- and 50-pound bags. Information: 795-6043.