sound of sheep bells rang softly from above, and the herdsman knew them to be those he had hung on the horns of his ram.
'Do you hear?' asked the youth.
'Yes, I hear; you have spoken the truth, and I cannot blame you for what has happened. I must bear the loss as best as I can.'
He turned and went home, followed by the young man, who felt highly pleased with his own cleverness.
'I should not be surprised if the tasks I set you were too difficult, and that you were tired of them,' said the herdsman next morning; 'but to-day I have something quite easy for you to do. You must look after forty oxen, and be sure you are very careful, for one of them has gold-tipped horns and hoofs, and the king reckons it among his greatest treasures.'
The young man drove out the oxen into the meadow, and no sooner had they got there than, like the sheep and the pigs, they began to scamper in all directions, the precious bull being the wildest of all. As the youth stood watching them, not knowing what to do next, it came into his head that his father's cow was put out to grass at no great distance; and he forthwith made such a noise that he quite frightened the oxen, who were easily persuaded to take the path he wished. When they heard the cow lowing they galloped all the faster, and soon they all arrived at his father's house.
The old man was standing before the door of his hut when the great herd of animals dashed round a corner of the road, with his son and his own cow at their head.
'Whose cattle are these, and why are they here?' he asked; and his son told him the story.
'Take them back to your master as soon as you can,' said the old man; but the son only laughed, and said:
'No, no; they are a present to you! They will make you fat!'
For a long while the old man refused to have anything to do with such a wicked scheme; but his son talked him over in the end, and they