Which Aesop's Fable Has The Moral "Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child"?


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This old saying, which is nowadays only used ironically if at all, is taken seriously in the fable of the thief and his mother. A boy stole sweets from his schoolmates; his mother found out, and didn't beat him or even tell him off. Later he stole money; again, she said nothing.

When the boy grew up, he became a professional thief. In the end he was caught and sentenced to be hanged. As he stood on the gallows, he caught sight of his mother, weeping among the crowd. He asked permission to speak to her before he died, and she was brought to the gallows. He leaned towards her as if to whisper in her ear, and then suddenly seized her and bit her ear right off. She screamed in pain; the thief was restrained. As the rope went round his neck he shouted, "Mother, you have killed me; for if you had beaten me when I was younger, I would never have become a thief.

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