My informant for this piece is my grandmother, who used to tell me this tale as a child. Recently I approached her again, and asked her to repeat the tale, upon which she was able to recall it from memory.
The narrative is as follows:
“Little Tony was a very disobedient little boy, he never obeyed his mother. One day she said not to open the door or go wandering outside without telling her. One day, he decided to disobey his mother and open the door and go wandering about on his own. However, he wandered too far, and got lost in the mountains, and was unable to find his way back home. His mother called out for him ‘Tony’, ‘Tony’, but he never came back. He is still lost in the mountains somewhere.”
The story is obviously intended to scare children into behaving. It is also intended to ensure that they will not go off on their own, or question their parents. In addition, this tale was told to me at a very young age, so I assume it is also intended to foster reliance on parents at an age in which it is difficult to do things for yourself. I have researched some aspects of this tale, and uncovered several news stories involving children who were similarly lost in the mountains. A tale like this may have been adapted from a real story, with substantial changes to the narrative in order to become more effective. The idea in the tale is that it could possibly happen in real life, giving it a more realistic tone.