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The Biter Bit


'Yes, certainly, I know he would,' answered Simon, 'if you were tied up in this sack instead of me.' Then getting out of the sack, he tied the confiding shepherd up in it instead, and at his request fastened it securely and drove the sheep on himself.

An hour had scarcely passed when the three rogues returned to the place where they had left Simon in the sack, and without opening it, one of them seized it and threw it into the river. And so the poor shepherd was drowned instead of Mr. Simon!

The three rogues, having wreaked their vengeance, set out, for home. On their way they noticed a flock of sheep grazing not far from the road. They longed to steal a few of the lambs, and approached the flock, and were more than startled to recognise Mr. Simon, whom they had drowned in the river, as the shepherd who was looking after the sheep. They asked him how he had managed to get out of the river, to which he replied:

'Get along with you--you are no better than silly donkeys without any sense; if you had only drowned me in deeper water I would have returned with three times as many sheep.'

When the three rogues heard this, they said to him: 'Oh, dear Mr. Simon, do us the favour to tie us up in sacks and throw us into the river that we may give up our thieving ways and become the owners of flocks.'

'I am ready,' answered Simon, 'to do what you please; there's nothing in the world I wouldn't do for you.'

So he took three strong sacks and put a man in each of them, and fastened them up so tightly that they couldn't get out, and then he threw them all into the river; and that was the end of the three rogues. But Mr. Simon returned home to his faithful Nina rich in flocks and gold, and lived for many a year in health and happiness.

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