The Ransom of Red Chief

by O. Henry

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What moral lesson do kids get from the story of "The Ransom of Red Chief"?

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There are a number of important moral lessons for children in "The Ransom of Red Chief." Probably the most instructive is that crime doesn't pay. One could also say that the story can help to teach children that there is no easy way to make money, especially if it involves breaking the law. The two bungling criminals hit upon what they think is a surefire way to make money, but not only do they end up with nothing, they're outsmarted by a kid who makes them look like complete idiots. Clearly, the two would-be master criminals have failed to pay heed to the old adage "Be careful for what you wish for; you might just get it." This is a very useful life lesson for everyone, but especially for children.


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