Story Length: < 1 minute

A schoolboy stole a book from one of his schoolmates 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 ear. 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 schoolmate’s book 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.”

What do you think the moral of The Thief and His Mother?

About the Author

Aesop (/ˈiːsɒp/ EE-sop or /ˈeɪsɒp/ AY-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aísopos; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics.

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