Splitting and Entitlement
Nov. 12, 1923
My Dear Master:
The two dogs that you left with me are very bad to me. Their dog, Jim, is very old and he will never talk or play with me. One Saturday the boys went hunting. Jim and myself went with them. While going through the woods one of the boys triped and fell on me. I lost my temper and bit him. He kiked me in the side and we started on. While we were walking I saw a black round thing in a tree. I hit it with my paw. A swarm of black thing came out of it. I felt a pain all over. I started to run and as both of my eyes were swelled shut I fell into a pond. When I got home I was very sore. I wish you would come home right now.
Your good dog
MANY MOTHERS PRESERVE LETTERS written to them by their sons when they are very small, including mothers of presidents. Abigail Adams kept a letter that her John Quincy had written at age eleven, having just arrived in Paris with his father. He wrote with the affection and sturdy piety that illuminated their whole relationship:
I must not let Slip one opportunity in writing To So kind and Tender a Mamma as you have been To me for Which I believe I Shall never be able to Repay you.
I hope I Shall never forget the goodness of God in Preserving us Through all The Dangers That We have been exposed to in Crossing The Seas, and that by his almighty Power we have arrived Safe in france after a Troublesome voyage. 2
Franklin Roosevelt, at age ten, writing to his mother, was already mischievously teasing and exuberant, and ended the letter by signing his name backward: