911. Fur et Mater Eius. Quidam puer in schola, libellum furatus, suae attulit matri. A qua non castigatus, quotidie furabatur magis atque magis; progressu autem temporis, maiora furari coepit. Tandem a magistratu deprehensus, ducebatur ad supplicium. Matre vero sequente ac vociferante, ille rogavit ut sibi liceret paulisper cum ea loqui ad aurem. Illo permisso et matre properante et aurem admovente ad filii os, dentibus suis matris auriculam evulsit. Cum mater et ceteri qui adstabant eum increparent, non modo ut furem, sed etiam ut impium in parentem suam, inquit, “Haec causa fuit exitii mei. Etenim si me castigasset prius ob libellum quem furatus sum, nil fecissem ulterius; nunc ducor ad supplicium.”
Click here for a SLIDESHOW of all the Medici Aesop images.I like the way this shows both stages of the story - the young boy on the left, and the grown-up thief on the right.
M0911 = Perry200. Source: Clarke 174 (word order adapted). This is Perry 200. In other versions of this fable, the thief bites off her nose. Compare the modern fable by the satirist Ambrose Bierce, where the mother gets the last word (from Fantastic Fables, 1899): “A Boy who had been taught by his Mother to steal grew to be a man and was a professional public official. One day he was taken in the act and condemned to die. While going to the place of execution, he passed his Mother and said to her: ‘Behold your work! If you had not taught me to steal, I should not have come to this.’ ‘Indeed!’ said the Mother. ‘And who, pray, taught you to be detected?’”