Curiosity’s Rules

February 7, 2021

Harold and Mabel have a heart to hear about his computer time.

Curiosity’s Rules

By: Janice Nelson

“Harold, what’re you watching?” Mabel Peabody asked as she knocked on her son’s bedroom door.

“Hi mom,” Harold answered, his eyes still glued to the computer screen. “It’s a video of a talent contest. This girl is only 12 years old and she plays four different instruments!”

“Harold,” Mabel answered, the concern rising in her voice. “You know that you’re not supposed to use the computer for anything other than schoolwork without our permission first.”

“I was doing my homework,” Harold answered, his eyes still glued to the screen.

“Really?” Mabel asked skeptically.

“Yes,” Harold answered. “Then I just happened to come across this clip of the talent contest. I was curious to see who won.”

“I’m glad that you’re curious,” Mabel answered. “It shows that you have a sharp mind.”

“Thanks, Mom,” Harold answered.

“But,” Mabel continued, “you have to be careful where that curiosity takes you. That’s why your dad and I have rules about what you can do on the computer.”

“But, Mom,” Harold protested. “What’s wrong with watching kids like me showing off their talents? Some of them are amazing!

“I’m sure they are.” Mabel agreed. “The point is that we haven’t had a chance to check if out yet, so in spite of your curiosity, you’ll just have to wait.”

Harold slumped in his chair. “But, Mom,” he pouted.

“Harold,” Mabel explained, “It’s my job to protect you. An awful lot of what you find online just isn’t good for you. No matter how much fun they make it look.”

“Why don’t you trust me?” Harold asked quietly.

Mabel crinkled her eyebrows thoughtfully. “I do trust you, Harold. But, I also know how tempting some things online can be. Even adults who should know better have a hard time setting limits for themselves.”

“Mom,” Harold added. “There’s so much great stuff online! Educational videos, nature shows, tutorials. Think about how much I could learn. It’s perfect for a curious kid like me.”

“It can also be dangerous for a curious kid like you. It’s easy to get sucked in,” Mabel explained.

“Sucked in?” Harold asked.

“Yes! You might intend to only watch that amazing video of the girl who can play four musical instruments, but then you notice a clip of cute kittens making funny noises in their sleep and then before you know it….”

“I’ve been sucked in and I’ve wasted a whole afternoon!” Harold said. “Then before you know it, I’ll have wasted a whole afternoon!”

“Or worse,” Mabel added. “Those cute kittens could lead you to some not-so-cute videos. Understand?”

“Not really,” Harold answered with a sigh. “But I promise to listen to you anyway.”

“Thank you, son. Now the reason I came up here is to ask you to please clean your bird Ricky’s cage.”

“Oh, mom, I was going to go to Logan’s house!” Harold protested.

“Clean the cage, first, please, “Mabel answered.

Harold walked down the stairs and he had an idea. He thought of a quick way to clean his parakeet Ricky’s cage and get over to his friend Logan’s home. Would you like to hear how? Listen to the full story at and look for the Mini Adventure called “Curiosity’s Rules” airing this month.