After a week of feasting, the fox said to the king: 'My master wishes to take his young bride home to his own castle.'
'Very well, I will accompany them,' replied the king; and he ordered his courtiers and attendants to get ready, and the best horses in his stable to be brought out for himself, Count Piro and the princess. So they all set out, and rode across the plain, the little fox running before them.
He stopped at the sight of a great flock of sheep, which was feeding peacefully on the rich grass. 'To whom do these sheep belong?' asked he of the shepherd. 'To an ogre,' replied the shepherd.
'Hush,' said the fox in a mysterious manner. 'Do you see that crowd of armed men riding along? If you were to tell them that those sheep belonged to an ogre, they would kill them, and then the ogre would kill you! If they ask, just say the sheep belong to Count Piro; it will be better for everybody.' And the fox ran hastily on, as he did not wish to be seen talking to the shepherd.
Very soon the king came up.
'What beautiful sheep!' he said, drawing up his horse. 'I have none so fine in my pastures. Whose are they?'
'Count Piro's,' answered the shepherd, who did not know the king.
'Well, he must be a very rich man,' thought the king to himself, and rejoiced that he had such a wealthy son-in-law.
Meanwhile the fox had met with a huge herd of pigs, snuffling about the roots of some trees.
'To whom do these pigs belong?' he asked of the swineherd.
'To an ogre,' replied he.
'Hush!' whispered the fox, though nobody could hear him; 'do you see that troop of armed men riding towards us? If you tell them that the pigs belong to the ogre they will kill them, and then the ogre will kill you! If they ask, just say that the pigs belong to Count Piro; it will be better for everybody.' And he ran hastily on.