The Tortoise and the Geese and Other Fables of Bidpai  by Maude Barrows Dutton

The Farmer, the Sheep, and the Robbers

A stupid Farmer was coming home from a fair, leading a large Sheep which he had bought there. His way lay along a lonely mountain-side, where a band of Robbers had their den. Hidden among the bushes, the Robbers saw the Farmer and his Sheep pass by, and they determined to play a trick on him so as to win the Sheep for themselves. They therefore separated, and one after another of them met the Farmer as he passed along the road.

The first Robber doffed his cap and said, "Good-day, sir, where are you taking this dog?"

The second said, "Good-day, Sir, where did you get this dog?"

The third Robber even stopped the Farmer, and inquired where his gun was. "For surely you would not have this dog with you unless you were going hunting," he added.

And the fourth Robber, coming up from the rear, put his hand on the Sheep's head and said, "Ah, my friend, what a fine watch-dog you have!" and went on.

By this time the Farmer was very angry. "In sooth," he cried aloud, "the man who sold me this beast bewitched my eyes; for truly I thought that it was a sheep, whereas in reality it is nothing but a dog. I will hurry back at once to find the fellow and make him pay me back my money."

So saying, he tied the Sheep to a tree by the roadside and started back to the fair on a run. Thereupon the four Robbers came out of their hiding-places and carried the prize off to their den.