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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

99. A BOY AND HIS MOTHER. (Perry 200)

A School-Boy brought his Mother a Book that he had stollen from one of his Fellows. She was so far from correcting him for’t, that she rather encourag’d him. As he grew bigger, he would be still keeping his hand in ure with somewhat greater Value, and brought to Justice for’t. His Mother went along with him to the Place of Execution, where he got leave of the Officers, to have a Word or two in private with her. He put his Mouth to her Ear, and under pretext of a Whisper, bit it clear off. This impious unnatural Villany turn’d every Body’s Heart against him more and more. [Well, good People (says the Boy) here you see me an Example, both upon the Matter of Shame and of Punishment; and it is this Mother of mine that has brought me to’t; for if she had but whipt me soundly for the Book I stole when I was a Boy, I should have never come to the Gallows for pilfering now I’m a Man.]
THE MORAL. We are either made or marr’d in our Education; and Governments, as well as private Families, are concern’d in the Consequences of it.

L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.