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DateLine Sunday, 6 April 2008

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Aesop's fables:

Mistletoe should be removed before it spreads

A schoolboy stole a writing tablet belonging to one of his classmates and brought it to his mother. His mother praised him saying that he had done a daring act. Next time the boy stole a cloak of their neighbour and brought it to his mother. Instead of reproving, the mother continued praising the child over many minor thefts. The child received undue feathers from his mother's praiseworthy words and persuaded his practice.

When the boy grew older he carried on much greater thefts. One day he got caught red-handed and was imposed the death sentence. When he was led off by the executioners to be executed his mother followed him lamenting over her son's rueful plight.

The man made one last request to go and say a few last words to his mother. As the man got closer to the mother he snatched her ear lobe and bit it off. His mother shrieked out of pain and cursed his son. "You are such an scoundrel. Why were you born unto me?" But the man remarked "All too late, when I stole a writing tablet and brought it to you, you admired it as if I had done a great adventure. For the second time when I stole and brought a cloak you spared the rod. Had you ever thrashed me ? If you corrected my mistakes before it was too late I wouldn't have been faced a misery like this".

Moral of the story

This fable teaches a good lesson to parents that they should always be alert on what their children do and if they sense that a child does something wrong it should be corrected before it is too late, as a mistletoe should be destroyed when it is tender. Because when it grows it becomes hard to remove.

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