English

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The two pickpockets:

There was once a young man who was the best pickpocket around. So he decided to try his luck in the big city.(London, Dublin etc.) On his first day there the picking were lush, he cut a purse here, picked a pocket there--But when he went to pay for his lunch he discovered his own pocket had been picked! He whirled around and saw a dark haired girl looking at him and he gave chase. He finally cornered her in an alley. Trembling she offered him his purse back. "I don't want the purse back. I only want to marvel at your skill. I am the best there is and I never felt a thing!" He bought her lunch, they began seeing each other, and eventually married. And soon were expecting a child. The young man was very excited. "What with traits from my side and traits from your side this child will be the best pickpocket the world has ever known! We will start a whole dynasty of pickpockets!" But when the baby was born, and the midwife laid him on his mother's breast his little right hand was closed and his whole arm drawn up tight to his chest. "Look at his poor hand! He'll never be a pickpocket now." They took him to one doctor and another, none could find anything wrong. Finally they took him to the best pediatrician in all London. He examined the baby's arm and could find no problem. He took out his gold pocket watch to time the pulse. "I can find nothing wrong. And what a shame. What a bright little fellow. Look how his eyes follow my watch." He dangled the watch in front of the baby. Suddenly the little arm that had been twisted in stretched out and the baby opened his hand to grab the watch. And down fell the midwife's gold wedding band.

I don't understand the ending of this story, can someone please explain to me what it is trying to tell the readers, thanks.

  • English -

    The child was a pickpocket already -- had been since before he was born.

    Ask yourself how the midwife's ring got into his hand.

    Ask yourself why he reached for the pocketwatch.

    What was the father's prediction before he was born?

  • English -

    The message I get from it is: don't make assumptions til you have all of the facts.

  • English -

    So does that mean that the little boy was never deformed?

  • English -

    That's right. The infant had been holding on to the ring.

  • English -

    Alright. Thanks a lot.

  • English -

    You're welcome.

  • English -

    The ending of this story is a perfect example of situational irony.

    http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/lit_terms/

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