Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/27

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Tales of Old Lusitania - chapter 31 headpiece.jpg


Two godfathers once lived in the same hamlet, one was a poor man and the other was rich, but miserly. It was the custom among the people of that country whenever they killed a pig to make a present of the loin to the abbot. Now, the rich godfather wanted to kill his pig, but could not bring himself to part with any portion of it, and not knowing how to avoid doing so he betook himself to his neighbour's house and began grumbling at the absurdity of the custom. His neighbour, though poor, was not wanting in artfulness, and, moreover, despised the rich man for his stinginess; he said he would give him a piece of advice by which he could get out of his dilemma; and that was to hang up the loin in the garden over night, and at early dawn to bring it in, and say that some one had stolen it.

The miser was charmed with the suggestion and followed it out to the very letter; when he had finished hanging up the loin he went to bed, intend-