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The Story of a Bad Little Boy

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“Once he stole the teacher’s penknife, and, when he was afraid it would be found out and he would get whipped, he slipped it into Wilson’s cap – poor Widow Wilson’s son, the moral boy, the good little boy of the village, who always obeyed his mother, and never told an untruth, and was fond of his lessons, and infatuated with Sunday-School.”

Jim was bad little boy, who inexplicably and persistently got away with causing trouble and being full of vulgar. He did many bad things such as stealing his mother’s jam, filling up the vessel with tar, stealing Farmer Acorn’s apples, and telling many untruthful lies. Although Jim, not James, somehow led a charmed life free of any burden of getting caught in the midst of his deceitfulness, he remained “the Bad Little Boy” of the village. Jim, unlike in the Sunday-School books, by no means, drowned when he went boating and never got struck by lightning when he went fishing. No, everything about Jim was naughty and mischievous, but luck sheltered his being. Jim raised many curious eyebrows through his dishonesty and fraudulence by never gaining a single whipping; even by his impious mother, who was neglectful of him. How Jim ever escaped this misdemeanor is a mystery and is very vague to certain people.

Instead of Jim, the culprit, receiving the punishment for his horrible offense of stealing his teacher’s penknife, the good little boy, his contrasting counterpart, received the penalty, which resides foully injustice. The moral of this story is simply entitled, “Not everything in life is fair.” Not all good gets rewarded and not all bad gets chastised.

Jim grew up to be the “infernalest wickedest scoundrel in his native village, and is universally respected, and belongs to the legislature.” Jim got married and raised a large family, the normal future of any man or woman. In the end, Jim’s life turned out immensely prosperous, just as anyone would have hoped, but he remained a scoundrel. Life is not perfect.

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