Gateway to the Classics: Indian Fables by Ramaswami Raju
Indian Fables by  Ramaswami Raju

The Thief and the Fox

A man tied his horse to a tree and went into an inn. A thief hid the horse in a wood, and stood near the tree as if he had not done it.

"Did you see my horse?" said the man.

"Yes," said the thief, "I saw the tree eat up your horse."

"How could the tree eat up my horse?" said the man.

"Why, it did so," said the thief.

The two went to a fox and told him of the case. The fox said, "I am dull. All last night the sea was on fire; I had to throw a great deal of hay into it to quench the flames; so come to-morrow, and I shall hear your case."

"Oh, you lie," said the thief; "how could the sea burn? how could hay quench the flames?"

"Oh, you lie," said the fox, with a loud laugh; "how could a tree eat up a horse?"

The thief saw his lie had no legs, and gave the man his horse.

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