On the first day of Juvenile court, the judge was sitting down to start reviewing the day's cases.
"Bring out the first defendant," he said to the new bailiff.
The bailiff left, and came back a moment later with young boy who was accused of shoplifting. He was covered in black soot, wore tattered overalls, and over-sized work boots and gloves.
The judge asked the boy why he came to court dirty and ill dressed, to which he replied, "It isn't my fault."
The judge ordered him back to the jail to get cleaned up and to come back tomorrow.
The bailiff brought out the next defendant, a young lady who was accused of drinking in public.
She was dressed the same as the boy, even though she came from a wealthy family. "Why are you dressed like that, young lady?" The judge asked, and the defendant said the same thing. "It isn't my fault."
The judge ordered her back to the jail to get cleaned up and to come back tomorrow.
The bailiff brought out the third defendant, a sixteen year old accused of shooting his father.
The young man was clean and shaven, and wore a relatively nice suit. The judge sent him away to prison and looked to the bailiff again.
"I don't understand why those other two children were in such a poor state," he said.
"Oh," The bailiff said, "Well I dumped a bag of coal over their heads and put them in some old overalls, your honour."
The judge, red faced with anger, asked, "Why would you do that?"
"You see your honour," The bailiff explained. "I was told they were to be tried as miners!"