Once upon a time in a City not too far from here, lived a boy named Conrad and his loving mother. Conrad was a strapping child of seven years, healthy and well-grown. At school, he obeyed his teacher and played well with others. He was progressing through the adventures of Dick and Jane and could recite his addition tables up through the eight-pluses.
His Mama doted on him, this child of her middle years, and did her best to be both father and mother to him. Perhaps she tried too hard to anticipate his every need, because at home he was a very different Conrad. He was often to be found at his mother’s side, stroking her silky sleeves and sucking his thumb.
One morning his Mama paused while dressing and looked at Conrad sitting on her bed with his thumb in his mouth, thoughtfully sucking while staring into the middle distance. He was lost to the world.
Surely, he’s too old for this, she thought. It will have to stop.
“Conrad, please take your thumb out of your mouth,” she said.
He removed the offending digit and studied it closely. Then, pop! back in it went.
“I don’t have time for this,” Mama said. “Now please listen to your Mama and be my big boy – AND STOP SUCKING THAT THUMB!”
Conrad shoved both hands into his pockets and stomped out of the room. His mother found him sitting in the hall, his arms folded across his chest and his face like a thundercloud.
“Are you still angry with Mama?” she asked.
“Yes, I AM!” he said and turned his face away.
“Listen, Conrad dear, I have to go out for a while, but you mustn’t suck your thumb while I’m away. The great, tall tailor with his big scissors is sure to come to boys who always suck their thumbs.” And with a quick kiss, she was gone.
Not five minutes later, in went Conrad’s thumb. I’m not afraid of the tailor-man, he thought, and he settled down to play, using his free hand to run his trains all around and under the furniture.
Suddenly, the front door flew open, and in ran a long-legged, sharp-nosed man with greasy hair and a tape measure around his neck. In his hands was the biggest pair of silver scissors Conrad had ever seen!
Snick! Snack! went the scissors, and off came Conrad’s thumbs. Snick, snack the scissors said, and before you could say “Kim Kardashian,” the great, tall tailor man was gone.
When his mother returned, Conrad sadly held out his thumb-less hands for her to see.
“Oh, Conrad,” she said, with a sigh. “I knew the tailor had to come to such a naughty Suck-a- Thumb.”