A boy of 11 called a German police emergency line to complain of "forced labour" after his mother told him to help clean the home.
Police say the boy from Aachen, who has not been identified, spoke to an officer via the 110 number.
They say he complained: "I have to work all day long. I haven't any free time."
His mother told the officer the boy had kept threatening to call them, having repeatedly complained of having to do housework during the school holidays.
A transcript of the conversation, printed in local newspapers, revealed the officer asking the boy to describe the kind of "forced labour" he was doing.
The boy replied that he had to clean the home and terrace, it said.
Asked if he knew what forced labour was, the boy said he did, and the police officer asked to speak to his mother, who at that stage was standing next to him.
She explained he had called after being asked to pick up paper from the floor, adding: "He plays all day long and when told to tidy up what he's done, he calls it forced labour."