Tales from the Arabic/A Merry Jest of a Thief
A MERRY JEST OF A THIEF.
A thief of the thieves of the Arabs went [one night] to a certain man’s house, to steal from a heap of wheat there, and the people of the house surprised him. Now on the heap was a great copper measure, and the thief buried himself in the corn and covered his head with the measure, so that the folk found him not and went away; but, as they were going, behold, there came a great crack of wind forth of the corn. So they went up to the measure and [raising it], discovered the thief and laid hands on him. Quoth he, “I have eased you of the trouble of seeking me: for I purposed, [in letting wind], to direct you to my [hiding-]place; wherefore do ye ease me and have compassion on me, so may God have compassion on you!” So they let him go and harmed him not.