The Good Son

This tale is very old. Dick Brewer sent me this version.

Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.

The first said, “I built a big house for our mother.”

The second said,” I sent her a Mercedes with a driver.”

The third smiled and said, “I’ve got you, both beat. You know how Mom enjoys the Bible, and you know her eyesight has failed her to the point that she can no longer read.. I sent her a brown parrot that can recite the entire Bible. It took 20 monks in a monastery 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000.00 a year for 10 years, but it was worth it. Mom just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”

Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks.

“Milton,” she wrote the first son, “the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but now I have to clean the whole house.”

“Marvin,” she wrote to another, “I am too old to travel. I stay home all the time, so I never use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!”

“Dearest Melvin,” she wrote to her third son, “you were the only son to have the good sense to know what your mother likes. That chicken was delicious!”

Chris Cole remembers:

An old bird, indeed! I remember reading a short book a long time ago called, “Hello Mama!” written by Georgie Jessel and containing a large number of routines from his stand up vaudeville act, especially his famous one-sided telephone conversations (long-preceding Bob Newhart’s) with his sweet old, Jewish mother.

One skit involved his having sent an expensive, exotic tropical bird to his mother. He later called to inquire about how she liked it. Well, Mama said t hat it was absolutely delicious! Georgie Jessel was shocked and yelled at his mother that this special bird could speak seven languages, whereupon his mother asked him that if that were so, then why didn’t it speak up and say something!?

That’s a good question, indeed.

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