HOW THE DRAGON WAS TRICKED1
Once upon a time there lived a man who had two sons, but they did not get on at all well together, for the younger was much handsomer than his elder brother, who was very jealous of him. When they grew older, things became worse and worse, and at last one day as they were walking through a wood the elder youth seized hold of the other, tied him to a tree, and went on his way, hoping that the boy might starve to death.
However, it happened that an old and humpbacked shepherd passed the tree with his flock, and seeing the prisoner, he stopped and said to him, ' Tell me, my son, why are you tied to that tree?'
'Because I was so crooked,' answered the young man; ' but it has quite cured me, and now my back is as straight as can be.'
' I wish you would bind me to a tree,' exclaimed the shepherd, ' so that my back would get straight.'
' With all the pleasure in life,' replied the youth. ' If you will loosen these cords I will tie you up with them as firmly as I can.'
This was soon done, and then the young man drove off the sheep, leaving their real shepherd to repent of his folly; and before he had gone very far he met with a horse boy and a driver of oxen, and he persuaded them to turn with him and to seek for adventures.
1 From Griechische und AJbanesische Marchen, von J. G. von Hahn. (Leipzig: Engelmann. 1864.)