Three sons left home and built careers. Being dutiful sons, after they prospered they each gave a special gift to their rather persnickety elderly mother.
Milton, the eldest son, boasted to his brothers, "I built a big house for Mother."
The second son, Gerald, responded, "Well, I sent her a Mercedes, with a driver."
Donald, the youngest, had always been a little odd. But he looked proud of himself. "You remember how Mama enjoys reading the Bible. Now that she can't see well, I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took church elders 12 years to teach him. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse -- and the parrot recites it!"
In a few months the brothers got back together. The eldest brother delivered three sealed thank-you cards from their mother, one for each son.
"Milton," she wrote, "thank you for the house. But you know I can only live in one room -- and it's so huge I spend all my time cleaning it."
"Gerald," she wrote, "thank you for the car, although I am too old to leave the big house your brother gave me. That seems to make the driver unhappy, because all he does is sit in the kitchen and drink my coffee."
"Donald," she wrote, "you always were a bit wacky, but thank you for the little chicken you sent. It was delicious!"