The Thief And The Innkeeper
A Thief hired a room in a tavern and stayed a while in the hope of
stealing something which should enable him to pay his reckoning. When
he had waited some days in vain, he saw the Innkeeper dressed in a
new and handsome coat and sitting before his door. The Thief sat down
beside him and talked with him. As the conversation began to flag,
the Thief yawned terribly and at the same time howled like a wolf.
The Innkeeper said, "Why do you howl so fearfully?' "I will tell you,"
said the Thief, "but first let me ask you to hold my clothes, or I
shall tear them to pieces. I know not, sir, when I got this habit
of yawning, nor whether these attacks of howling were inflicted on
me as a judgment for my crimes, or for any other cause; but this I
do know, that when I yawn for the third time, I actually turn into
a wolf and attack men." With this speech he commenced a second fit
of yawning and again howled like a wolf, as he had at first. The Innkeeper.
hearing his tale and believing what he said, became greatly alarmed
and, rising from his seat, attempted to run away. The Thief laid hold
of his coat and entreated him to stop, saying, "Pray wait, sir, and
hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces in my fury, when I
turn into a wolf." At the same moment he yawned the third time and
set up a terrible howl. The Innkeeper, frightened lest he should be
attacked, left his new coat in the Thief's hand and ran as fast as
he could into the inn for safety. The Thief made off with the coat
and did not return again to the inn.
Every tale is not to be believed.