A woman once owned a dog that had an annoying and nasty habit. He would run quietly behind anyone passing by and nip the ankle. The passer-by would yelp in pain and astonishment and complain to the woman.
No amount of disciplining by the owner could cure him of this habit. She got so fed up of the complaints that she tied a bell around the dog’s neck. The sound of the bell would warn people that the dog was approaching and they would have time to turn back and shoo it away.
The dog, however, felt that the bell was some kind of reward for his behaviour. He became very proud. He turned up his nose at all the other dogs in the street and would not speak to them.
Finally, an old dog called him aside.
“Do you know why you have a bell around your neck?” he asked gently.
“It’s because the owner values me!” he replied.
When the truant was told the exact reason for the bell, he felt so ashamed that he slunk away with his tail between its legs.
Moral: A clap on the back is sometimes a slap on the face!