The Thief and His Mother

: Aesop's Fables

A BOY stole a lesson-book from one of his schoolfellows and took

it home to his Mother. She not only abstained from beating him,

but encouraged him. He next time stole a cloak and brought it to

her, and she again commended him. The Youth, advanced to

adulthood, proceeded to steal things of still greater value. At

last he was caught in the very act, and having his hands bound

behind him, was led away to the place of public execution. His

Mother followed in the crowd and violently beat her breast in

sorrow, whereupon the young man said, "I wish to say something to

my Mother in her ear." She came close to him, and he quickly

seized her ear with his teeth and bit it off. The Mother

upbraided him as an unnatural child, whereon he replied, "Ah! if

you had beaten me when I first stole and brought to you that

lesson-book, I should not have come to this, nor have been thus

led to a disgraceful death."