When the son of a professional thief saw his father getting older, he worried because he had not learned any trade to make a living for himself. So, he asked his father to teach him his trade. ‘All right, I’ll show you,’ his father said.
One night, the thief took his son to a rich man’s mansion. They dug a hole in the wall and sneaked into the house. Having managed to pry open a closet, the thief bade his son to get into it and take as much valuables as he could. As soon as his son slipped inside, the thief shut the door of the closet and locked it. Then he walked to the lobby and made a fearful noise.The entire household was awakened. The owner of the house and his servants lit up candles and searched for the burglar in every corner. But the old thief escaped through the hole in the wall, leaving his son behind.
‘Why did my father do that?’ the son wondered in anger. ‘How can he run away himself and leave me in the lurch?’
The young man tried desperately to open the closet, but to no avail. Suddenly he had an idea. He started to mimic rats squeaking. Upon hearing the noise, a maid opened the closet. Barely had she unlocked the door when the young man dashed out, knocking down the candle in her hand, and ran away as fast as his legs could carry him.
Raising a hue and cry, the entire family ran after him through the garden. The young man spotted a well. Quickly he picked up a rock and threw it into the well with a loud splash. Unable to see clearly in the darkness, those who were chasing him heard the noise and thought the thief had fallen into the well. They surrounded the well and lit a torch to look down into it. In the chaos the young man escaped through the hole in the wall.
When he returned home, he was mad at his father. “Tell me how you managed to get away.” his father asked calmly. Still fuming, the son gave a detailed account of how he managed to escape. The elder thief beamed with satisfaction.
‘My boy, you have learned the tricks of the trade!’