Once upon a time there was a little boy who kicked the family dog right in front of his mother.
“How vicious you are!” said the mother. “And as a punishment, for two days…”
“You are stupid and so is my father!” said the little boy before she could finish.
“What a lack of respect!” said the mother. “And to teach you respect, for three days…”
But before she could finish, the boy began jumping on the good sofa.
“You know better than to jump on the good sofa!” said the mother. “Perhaps you will remember better if for four days…”
But before she could finish, the little boy ran into the kitchen, and a moment later the mother heard what could only be her large serving platter fall and shatter on the ground.
“And now you have broken the large serving platter!” she shouted in a fury. “And as punishment, for a whole week you will not go outside to play!”
She stormed into the kitchen where she found the little boy standing above the shards of a heavy vase.
“What a wicked mother you are,” said the little boy, “to accuse me of breaking the large serving platter, when there it sits on the shelf, perfectly fine. This is why I behave so badly.”
The mother begged the little boy’s pardon, kissed him on the head, and while she cleaned up the vase, sent him outside to play with the dog.