When the sperm of ignorance connects with the egg of jealousy a monster is born—A Gossipmonger. Feeding upon himself, he reaches maximum strength immediately. Periodically, he goes to his physician (the devil) for a shot of suspicion. When the pond of suspicion dries up then he begins to suspect himself.
He is easily detected, for his tongue hangs out the corner of his mouth like a mule pulling a heavy load. His tongue is so long that he can sit in the living room and lick the skillet on the stove in the kitchen.
The Gossipmonger picks up bits of information and passes it along as if he had ascertained the validity of the story. Some people are apparently unaware of the hurt that can be afflicted by a loose tongue. It is apparent that gossip is often spread originating in a heart of jealousy, with the primary purpose of hurting another.
On the other hand, I suppose one may have a loose tongue from being kicked in the head by a mule, which reminds me of a story told by J. Harold Stephens, a preacher of some sort in Shelbyville, Tennessee. He tells the story of one of the less brilliant boys of a rural community who was kicked in the head by a mule. After a while, he seemed to have recovered. A neighbor asked the boy’s father if his son had gotten all right.
“No,” said the father, “he didn’t get all right, but he did get back to like he was.”
It would be nice if we could all get back to the way we were—treating our neighbors the way that we want to be treated. That would eliminate gossip.
From my store house of experience: I’ve learned that it is next to impossible to trace down the source of gossip, and that it is foolish to try to do so, or even fret about it. Your friends won’t believe it, and your enemies will add to it and pass it along as if it were truth. When this world is on fire people will still be gossiping but God Almighty (pardon me ACLU) will still be holding them accountable for their words against their fellow man.