An older couple were much troubled by the fact that their only son, although long grown and a mature man himself, still lived at home with his parents. Determined to set the boy on the right path, his father carefully devised a plan to determine once and for all what course the boy should take in life.
He placed three objects on a table where the boy was certain to pass when next he returned home. "See," he explained to his wife,
"Here is a $10 bill, a Bible, and a flask of whiskey. If our son takes the money, then we can know that business and commerce are his future and we shall do whatever we can to push him in that direction. If he takes up the B ible then the clergy is his field and he can move into it without delay. If, however, he takes up the whiskey, then I'm afraid our son is destined to be a drunkard and we must despair of his prospects."
The couple hid themselves and awaited developments. Presently the son entered the house. Passing the objects he immediately took up the $10 bill, held it to the light to assure himself that it was genuine, and stashed it in his pocket. He next took the B ible, examined it carefully, and placed it under his arm. Then he took the whiskey flask, polished it with his handkerchief, and put that into another pocket. Having thus collected all the treasures he went on his way.
The woman, much taken aback by this display, turned to her husband.
"Well, Pa?," said she.
"I never would have thought," came the reply. "Our son is destined to be a politician."