A shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old,and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the sh...
A shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old,and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the shepherd and his wifewere standing together before the house the shepherd said, «I willshoot old Sultan tomorrow morning, for he is of no use now.» Buthis wife said, «Pray let the poor faithful creature live; he hasserved us well a great many years, and we ought to give him alivelihood for the rest of his days.» «But what can we do with him?’said the shepherd, «he has not a tooth in his head, and the thievesdon’t care for him at all; to be sure he has served us, but then hedid it to earn his livelihood; tomorrow shall be his last day, dependupon it.»
Poor Sultan, who was lying close by them, heard all that the shepherdand his wife said to one another, and was very much frightened tothink tomorrow would be his last day; so in the evening he went tohis good friend the wolf, who lived in the wood, and told him all hissorrows, and how his master meant to kill him in the morning. «Makeyourself easy,» said the wolf, «I will give you some good advice. Yourmaster, you know, goes out every morning very early with his wife intothe field; and they take their little child with them, and lay it downbehind the hedge in the shade while they are at work. Now do you liedown close by the child, and pretend to be watching it, and I willcome out of the wood and run away with it; you must run after me asfast as you can, and I will let it drop; then you may carry it back,and they will think you have saved their child, and will be sothankful to you that they will take care of you as long as you live.’The dog liked this plan very well; and accordingly so it was managed.The wolf ran with the child a little way; the shepherd and his wifescreamed out; but Sultan soon overtook him, and carried the poor littlething back to his master and mistress. Then the shepherd patted him onthe head, and said, «Old Sultan has saved our child from the wolf, andtherefore he shall live and be well taken care of, and have plenty toeat. Wife, go home, and give him a good dinner, and let him have my oldcushion to sleep on as long as he lives.» So from this time forwardSultan had all that he could wish for.
Soon afterwards the wolf came and wished him joy, and said, «Now, mygood fellow, you must tell no tales, but turn your head the other waywhen I want to taste one of the old shepherd’s fine fat sheep.» «No,’said the Sultan; «I will be true to my master.» However, the wolfthought he was in joke, and came one night to get a dainty morsel. ButSultan had told his master what the wolf meant to do; so he laid waitfor him behind the barn door, and when the wolf was busy looking outfor a good fat sheep, he had a stout cudgel laid about his back, thatcombed his locks for him finely.
Then the wolf was very angry, and called Sultan «an old rogue,» andswore he would have his revenge. So the next morning the wolf sent theboar to challenge Sultan to come into the wood to fight the matter. NowSultan had nobody he could ask to be his second but the shepherd’s oldthree-legged cat; so he took her with him, and as the poor thing limpedalong with some trouble, she stuck up her tail straight in the air.
The wolf and the wild boar were first on the ground; and when theyespied their enemies coming, and saw the cat’s long tail standingstraight in the air, they thought she was carrying a sword for Sultanto fight with; and every time she limped, they thought she was pickingup a stone to throw at them; so they said they should not like this wayof fighting, and the boar lay down behind a bush, and the wolf jumped upinto a tree. Sultan and the cat soon came up, and looked about andwondered that no one was there. The boar, however, had not quite hiddenhimself, for his ears stuck out of the bush; and when he shook one ofthem a little, the cat, seeing something move, and thinking it was amouse, sprang upon it, and bit and scratched it, so that the boarjumped up and grunted, and ran away, roaring out, «Look up in thetree, there sits the one who is to blame.» So they looked up, andespied the wolf sitting amongst the branches; and they called him acowardly rascal, and would not suffer him to come down till he washeartily ashamed of himself, and had promised to be good friendsagain with old Sultan.