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Finished the Book, Lost the Boy

A young man was to be sentenced to the penitentiary. The judge had known him from childhood, for he was well acquainted with his father—a famous legal scholar and the author of an exhaustive study entitled, “The Law of Trusts. “Do you remember your father?” asked the magistrate. “I remember him well, your honor,” came the reply. Then trying to probe the offender’s conscience, the judge said, “As you are about to be sentenced and as you think of your wonderful dad, what do you remember most clearly about him?”

There was a pause. Then the judge received an answer he had not expected. “I remember when I went to him for advice. He looked up at me from the book he was writing and said, ‘Run along, boy; I’m busy!’ When I went to him for companionship, he turned me away, saying “Run along, son; this book must be finished!’ Your honor, you remember him as a great lawyer. I remember him as a lost friend.”

The magistrate muttered to himself, “Alas! Finished the book, but lost the boy!”

Homemade, February, 1989