The Brahmin & The Crooks
Mitra Sarma was a Brahmin living in a small village. He used to daily worship Fire. It was the month of Magha (February). The sky was full of clouds and it had already started raining. Sarma left for a neighboring village at that time to seek the gift of a sacrificial lamb from some rich man. He called on a well-to-do man in the village and requested him to make him a gift of a healthy lamb for sacrifice to Gods. The wealthy man gave him one of the well-fed lambs he had.
Carrying the lamb on his shoulders, the Brahmin began his homeward journey. Three crooks, very hungry and emaciated, crossed his path and seeing the healthy lamb on the Brahmin’s shoulders thought, “Ah, God has sent us good food. Let us trick the Brahmin into parting with it and free us from hunger and cold.” At once, they began to act.
One of them changed into a disguise, and overtaking the Brahmin by another route, stopped him and said, “O what a fool you are? Such a great worshipper of Fire, why are you carrying this dog on your shoulders? This will bring you ridicule. Don’t you know that it is a sin to touch a dog, or a rooster, or a donkey?”