The two young men and the cook: Aesop's fable on pranks and sincerity

 It's a fable by Aesop very nice, even if little known.
The protagonists are two slightly rascally young men who think they can get away with a cook who is smarter than them.
The moral of this very short story for children is very simple:lying to our parents or teachers serves no purpose. When you're wrong, it's best to admit your mistake and apologize.
Don't you agree?

Read the story with us

Two young men were buying food from a cook who was very skilled in the kitchen. At one point, the cook turned around to prevent the food in the pan from burning. One of the two young men quickly grabbed a slice of freshly baked tart and threw it in hand to the other young man.

fruit tart
fruit tart

The cook noticed that furtive movement and immediately noticed that a slice of tart was missing.

“Give me my cut back, please,” she said calmly.
The young man who had stolen it said, "I don't have it." And it was true.
The young man who had the slice in hand he said, "I didn't steal it." And that was true too.
“All right, as you like. You may lie to me, but your conscience will blame you!”

At those words, the two young men were seized with a great sense of guilt and returned the slice of tart, apologizing to the cook.

i due giovani e il cuoco
The two young men and the cook 6

slice of tart


This very short fable by Aesop teaches that lying is useless, because we cannot lie even to ourselves and to our conscience.

Every mistake deserves a fair punishment, but sometimes it can be forgiven if you have the courage to ask for a sincere "sorry".

“Sorry”, “Please” and “Thank you” open all doors!

Listen to the story

Bedtime stories
Bedtime stories
The two young men and the cook
I due giovani e il cuoco 3

Aesòpo (in ancient Greek: Αἴσωπος, Áisōpos; Menebria, around 620 BC – Delphi, 564 BC) wasan ancient Greek writer, contemporary of Croesus and Pisistratus (6th century BC),known for his fairy tales. His works (works of Aesop) had a great influence on western culture: his fables are…View more

Avatar di Francesca Ruberto

Hi, I'm Francesca Ruberto, sister of Eugenio Ruberto. I was born in Capua (CE) on November 11, 2011

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