The Thief and his Mother

101. THE THIEF AND HIS MOTHER. A Schoolboy stole a hornbook from one of his schoolfellows, and brought it home to his mother. Instead of chastising him, she rather encouraged him in the deed. In course of time the boy, now grown into a man, began to steal things of greater value, till at length being caught in the very act, he was bound and led to execution.
Perceiving his mother following among the crowd, wailing and beating her breast, he begged the officers to be allowed to speak one word in her car. When she quickly drew near and applied her ear to her son’s mouth, he seized the lobe of it tightly between his teeth and bit it off. Upon this she cried out lustily, and the crowd joined her in upbraiding the unnatural son, as if his former evil ways had not been enough, but that his last act must be a deed of impiety against his mother.
But he replied: “It is she who is the cause of my ruin; for if when I stole my schoolfellow’s hornbook and brought it to her, she had given me a sound flogging, I should never have so grown in wickedness as to come to this untimely end.”
Nip evil in the bud. Spare the rod and spoil the child. [more info]

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