French Proverb

“Qui vole un oeuf vole un boeuf”

“Who steals an egg steals an ox”

“He who steals an egg, steals a cow”

Theo remembers learning this proverb from his French father when he was about 5 or 6, growing up in New York City, New York. Of the context in which he would hear this, he says, “When I would steal, or get caught [stealing], or when discussing stealing, my dad would always say that to me.”

In other words, Theo says he believes it to mean, “Don’t ever trust a thief. Once a thief, always a thief. Those who steal small things will go on to steal more. A thief always starts small, you know? You don’t wake up and immediately rob a bank. You stole an egg when you were a kid, you know? You were hungry for something.”

Theo believes this proverb contains words of wisdom. He says, “Every culture has a little saying about not stealing.  But this one’s sort of different because it says it’s in his nature. It’s sort of a harsher outlook on thievery.” I strongly agree with Theo’s interpretation of the proverb. More specifically, I believe that this proverb cautions us to look for any small signs of untrustworthiness early, so we might prevent a betrayal later.