The Thief's Son

: Part I.
: 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 go
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.