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Maxie’s Monster

Maxie’s Monster and the props below were inspired by Danutcha Catriona Singh, Lesson 10 Honesty for Baha’i children’s classes. 

by Lili Shang
Every family has one. Not for long, hopefully. At school, you may have known one. But this story is about a girl who was one. Maxie had been a good girl, but then…

One day, Maxie’s mother went grocery shopping. Maxie was left behind to baby-­sit her little brother, Zac. Maxie was 11 years old. Zac was 3 going on 4. Maxie was great at baby-­sitting her little brother. 

While Mommy was out shopping, Maxie got hungry. She remembered that there were goodies in the pantry. But then, Maxie remembered NO ONE was allowed to eat the goodies without asking. 

“I’ll just take one,” muttered Maxie. “Mommy won’t notice.”

Maxie took one. Then she took a few more until there was only one left. Zac was busy with Thomas and Friends. “No one knows,” she thought. But, Maxie knew and something happened in her tummy.

Pull out the monster face, put it where all can see.

Mommy returned home and started putting the groceries away. She noticed.

“Maxine, what happened to my chocolate chips?” 

Something happened in Maxie’s tummy, again. 

“If I tell the truth, I’ll be punished,” Maxie thought, so she lied. “It was Zac. I had to go to the bathroom. There was only one!”
But, she was late getting back to class and everyone noticed. And when, her teacher asked Maxine, where have you been? Maxie lied again.
Place another tentacle on the monster.
“I will say, I am sorry for hurting you. Is that good?”
Maxie never lied again, or broke the rules, or was mean to her friends…or anyone for that matter. It was just to awful being a monster. And, it was just to hard to make it right. Maxie was radiant!

  1. If you are going to use props, get them ready ahead of time. 
  1. Props help kids understand and remember a story. 
  1. Kids can make the props before the story as a warm up to the story. 
  1. Older kids could make props for a story as a service project for a younger class.
  1. Maxie’s Monster: a paper-plate with a funny, scary face on it.
  1. Tentacles: strips of paper.
  1. Sun: flip side of paper-plate monster colored yellow with a happy face.
  1. Rays: strips of yellow paper (virtues written on them/or kids write a virtue on them)
  1. Character Puppets: Maxie, Zachary, Mommy & Daddy, teacher, friends (Simple stick or finger puppets or TP roll people, will do.) It is helpful to have the kids mime the emotions.
  1. Small toy car (someone can share from home)
  1. A few chocolate chips

Optional: Discuss what Maxie could do to get rid of her monster.

Place a tentacle on the monster.

“Well, that’s unfortunate. I was going to bake cookies. But, it’s no fun eating chocolate chip cookies without a lot of chips in them. Is it Maxine?”

Maxie sighed as another something happened in her tummy.

The next day, during recess, Maxie wanted a chocolate chip cookie. So, she snuck to the corner store. Of course, she was breaking school rules and another something happened in her tummy

Place another tentacle on the monster. 
“I’ll be back before anyone notices,” she thought. 

Place another tentacle on the monster. 
“I saw Maxie leave the playground,” a boy in Maxie’s class tattled.

Maxie lied again, “My tummy is upset can I go to the nurse’s office, please?”

Place another tentacle on the monster. 

Maxie was getting good at lying. But, she wasn’t good at noticing why she had a funny feeling in her tummy. Lies were the easy way out of trouble and escaping punishment was cool, so she thought. But the more she lied the more she couldn’t remember all her lies. And then, she had terrible jumbled thoughts.

Place another tentacle on the monster. 
The kids at school began to tell on her when she lied or cheated or broke the rules. She was getting quite a reputation. 

“I hate those kids!”  Maxie mumbled. 

Place another tentacle on the monster. 
At home, Zac caught Maxie sneaking chips. So, he tattled. 
Maxie got angry, “Zac just made that up! Everyone wants to get me into trouble!”

Of course, Maxie was lying to herself. And, the monster was getting bigger and bigger. Maxie really felt bad and sad and terrible and no good. 

“Why is every body so mean to me?” Maxie thought feeling very sorry for herself. 

When Mommy wouldn’t trust her, that’s when Maxie noticed her monster. Maxie’s monster filled her body, heart and mind.

Place another tentacle on the monster.

Finally, Maxie knew she was a monster. And, she was so sorry that she went to Mommy to tell the truth. Maxie cried and cried until her eyes hurt and she could hardly breathe. 

Take away a tentacle.

Mommy was happy that Maxie was finally telling the truth and gave her a big hug. Maxie didn’t get into trouble. 

Take away another tentacle.

Mommy asked, “What should you do, Maxie?”
“I’ll stop lying,” said Maxie.
Take away another tentacle. 
“Then, what?”
“I’ll tell the truth,” said Maxie.
Take away another tentacle. 
“Then, what?”
“I’ll stop breaking the rules. I will obey the rules,” said Maxie

Take away another tentacle. 
“Then, what?” 
“I’ll stop being mean,” said Maxie.

Take away another tentacle. 
“And then?”
“I’ll be nice and respectful to my teacher and friends. I’ll be kind and thoughtful, too,” said Maxie.

Take away another tentacle. 
Then, Maxie asked, “Do I have to say how bad I was to everyone?”
“No, Maxie, you talk to God and ask His forgiveness. Being sincerely sorry means you won’t do those things again,” said Mommy.

“Yes, very good,” said Mommy.

Turn the monster over to see a happy sun, 
for pure and goodly deeds, commendable and seemly conduct.

It wasn’t easy for Maxie. It took lots of courage. It took lots of hard work every day. And, it took time. Maxie stop lying to herself and others. She told the truth. And little by little, day by day it got easier. She got stronger. She was a better daughter. She was a better big sister. She was a better friend and a better student. But, she was sincere. She prayed to God to help and she tried and tried again and again. And, then one day it wasn’t so hard.
As Maxie became more truthful and honest, her monster faded away. As long as she told the truth, the monster stayed away. Maxie knew it was much easier to tell the truth and be honest. 

Optional: Sing “Strive” by Joe Crown: “…strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God, and seek always to do that which is right and noble. Enrich the poor, raise the fallen, comfort the sorrowful, bring healing to the sick, reassure the fearful, rescue the oppressed, bring hope to the hopeless, shelter the destitute!”  (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 82)

Optional: What virtues helped Maxie? As the children offer virtues, place virtue rays around the sun. If the children can’t think of any…help them with a few rays. Older children can write a virtue on the ray before placing it around the sun: courageous, honest, truthful, trustworthy, kind, loving, caring, loyal, ask God for help in prayer, respectful, hardworking, pure hearted…

Maxie would have to stop making excuses for all of her lies. Maxie would have to apologize to those she hurt. Maxie would have to stop breaking the rules at home and school and everywhere. Maxie would have to be honest instead of thinking of ways to get out of trouble. Maxie would have to stop lying to herself and others.

Baha’i Reference: “Bahá’u’lláh prohibits confession to, and seeking absolution of one’s sins from, a human being. Instead one should beg forgiveness from God. In the Tablet of Bishárát, He states that “such confession before people results in one’s humiliation and abasement”, and He affirms that God “wisheth not the humiliation of His servants”.

Little by little, day by day. be honest and kind, 
 Do right and noble actions to have good feelings inside 
Your body, heart and mind!