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 Aesop's Fables
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Short Stories  
 
 

     The Thief and the Innkeeper

 

 There was a Thief who hired a room in a hotel and stayed a while in the hope of stealing something which should enable him to pay his opinion.

When he had waited some days uselessly, 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, 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, immediately 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.

 

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