WHAT DOES “ST” MEAN?

TWO BROTHERS were convicted of stealing sheep in the old days in England. In accordance with the brutal punishment of those days, they were branded in the forehead with the letters “ST”—Sheep Thief. One brother, unable to bear the stigma, fled to a foreign country where he tried to hide himself. He wandered from place to place, and at last died full of bitterness, and was buried in a forgotten grave. The other brother chose not to run away from home. He said, “I can’t get away from the fact that I once stole sheep, but I will remain here and make the best of it. I’ll change my way of living, do what’s right and try to get back the respect of my neighbors, as well as my own self-respect.”

 

The years passed, and he gradually established a reputation for his integrity and respectability, his honesty and worth. Then one day a stranger was in town and he happened to notice this old man hobbling along with the letters “ST” branded on his forehead. He asked one of the local people what that meant. After pondering for a while, the villager replied, “It all happened so long ago that I can’t remember the particulars. But I really think the letters are an abbreviation for the word SAINT.”—Selected

From the Sword and Staff

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