Zengzi’s wife was going to the market. Her little son insisted on going with her, making a tearful scene. “Stay at home,” she said to the boy. “When I come back, I will slaughter a pig for you.” When she came back, Zengzi got ready to slaughter the pig. His wife stopped him, saying: “I was just kidding.” “A child is not to be kidded like that!” he replied. “A child does not know much and cannot judge for himself. He learns from his parents and listens to what they day. To lie to him is to teach him to lie to others. If a mother lies to her son, he will not trust her anymore. How is she then to educate him?” With that Zengzi went to slaughter the pig and prepare a good meal for their son.
曾子之妻之市，其子随之而泣。其母曰："女还，顾反，为女杀彘。妻适市反，曾子欲捕彘杀之，妻止之曰："特与婴儿戏耳。" 曾子曰："婴儿非与戏耳。婴儿非有知也，待父母而学者也，听父母之教。今子欺之，是教子欺也。母欺子，子而不信其母，非所以成教也。" 遂烹彘也。