Three sons left home, went out into the world and each of them made a lot of money. During a reunion, they discussed the gifts they’d given to their elderly mum.
‘I built a big house for our mum,’ said the first.
‘I sent her a Mercedes, with a chauffeur,’ said the second.
And the third smiled and said, ‘I think my gift was the best. You know how much mum enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know that her eyes aren’t so good anymore? Well, I sent her a remarkable cockatoo that recites the entire Bible, both old and new testaments. It took a priest twelve years to teach him. That cockatoo is the only one in the world that can do it. All mum has to do is name the chapter and verse, and the cockatoo recites it.’
A few days later, mum sent out her thankyou letters. She wrote to the first son,
‘The house you built is so enormous that I only live in one room. The trouble is, I have to clean the whole house.’
To the second son she said, ‘I’m far too old to travel anymore. I stay at home most of the time, so I’ve hardly used the Mercedes. In any case, the driver is so rude.’
To the third son she wrote ‘Dearest Freddie. You have the good sense to know what your mum likes. The chicken was delicious!’