Punishment pays

A father and mother were both extremely fond of their child, who was only six years old. They were a very, very happy family. One day the child did something wrong and the father was very upset, so he gave the child a smart slap. Then the child cried and the father felt absolutely miserable. The father tried to console the child by giving him four rupees.

When the child got the money, he started crying more loudly and pitifully. The father said, “Why are you crying? I gave you a slap, but now I am consoling you. I will not slap you any more. Why are you still crying?”

The son said, “I am crying more powerfully and pitifully because I have to ask you something.”

“What do you have to ask me?” the father said.

The son said, “Will you promise me that each time you give me a slap, you will increase the amount of money you give me?”

“What?” cried the father.

The son said, “I did something wrong, and you gave me a slap. Now I will do something even worse. Each time I do something worse, will you not give me another slap and more money?”

The father said, “What are you saying?”

The son said, “I want to be punished by you every time I do something wrong. Each time my crime will be worse, so you can give me a harder slap if you wish. I will not mind at all. But you have to give me a larger amount of money, too.”

The father said, “What kind of son do I have? He is ready to be slapped for money. Why did I make the mistake of giving him money the first time? Each time he wants the slap to be harder. He does not mind being slapped if he receives a larger amount of money!”