The Thief's Son
Category: Part I.
Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas
Once upon a time a goat strayed into the house of a certain man who
promptly killed it and hid the body. At evening the owner of the
goat missed it and came in search of it. He asked the man who had
killed it whether he had seen it, but the latter put on an innocent
air and declared that he knew nothing about it but he invited the
owner of the missing animal to look into the goat house and see if
it had accidentally got mixed up with the other goats. The search
was of course in vain.
Directly the owner had gone the thief brought out the body and skinned
and cut it up, and every one in the house ate his fill of flesh. Before
they went to sleep the thief told his sons to be careful not to go
near any of the other boys when they were grazing the cattle next day,
lest they should smell that they had been eating meat.
Next morning the thief's son took his goats out to graze and was
careful not to go near any of the other boys who were tending cattle;
whenever they approached him he moved away. At last they asked him what
was the matter; and he told them that they must keep at a distance lest
they should smell what he had been eating. "What have you eaten?" The
simpleton replied that he had been eating goat's flesh and that there
was still some in the house. The cowherds at once ran off and told the
owner of the lost goat. The news soon spread and the villagers caught
the man who had killed the goat and searched his house and found the
flesh of the goat. Then they fined him one rupee four annas and made
him give another goat in exchange for the one he had stolen.
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