THE FOOLISH WEAVER
Once a weaver, who was in want of work, took service with a certain farmer as a shepherd.
The farmer, knowing that the man was very slow-witted, gave him the most careful instructions as to everything that he was to do.
Finally he said: 'If a wolf or any wild animal attempts to hurt the flock you should pick up a big stone like this' (suiting the action to the word) 'and throw a few such at him, and he will be afraid and go away.' The weaver said that he understood, and started with the flocks to the hillsides where they grazed all day.
By chance in the afternoon a leopard appeared, and the weaver instantly ran home as fast as he could to get the stones which the farmer had shown him, to throw at the creature. When he came back all the flock were scattered or killed, and when the farmer heard the tale he beat him soundly. 'Were there no stones on the hillside that you should run back to get them, you senseless one?' he cried; 'you are not fit to herd sheep. To-day you shall stay at home and mind my old mother who is sick, perhaps you will be able to drive flies off her face, if you can't drive beasts away from the sheep!'
So, the next day, the weaver was left at home to take care of the farmer's old sick mother. Now as she lay outside on a bed, it turned out that the flies became very troublesome, and the weaver looked around for something to drive them away with; and as he had been told to pick up the nearest stone to drive the beasts away from the flock, he thought he would this time show how cleverly he could obey orders. Accordingly he seized the nearest stone, which was a big, heavy one, and dashed it at the flies; but, unhappily, he slew the poor old woman also; and then, being afraid of the wrath of the farmer, he fled and was Dot seen again in that neighbourhood.