The Thief and The Innkeeper

A Thief hired a room with the idea of stealing something to pay for it. Nothing found. So, instead of stealing, the thief scared the Innkeeper.

Every tale is not to be believed.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A thief hired a room in a tavern and stayed a while in the hope of stealing something which should enable him to pay his reckoning. When he had waited some days in vain, he saw the Innkeeper dressed in a new and handsome coat and sitting before his door. The Thief sat down beside him and talked with him. As the conversation began to flag, the Thief yawned terribly and at the same time howled like a wolf. The Innkeeper said, “Why do you howl so fearfully?’ “I will tell you,” said the Thief, “but first let me ask you to hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces. I know not, sir, when I got this habit of yawning, nor whether these attacks of howling were inflicted on me as a judgment for my crimes, or for any other cause; but this I do know, that when I yawn for the third time, I actually turn into a wolf and attack men.” With this speech he commenced a second fit of yawning and again howled like a wolf, as he had at first. The Innkeeper. hearing his tale and believing what he said, became greatly alarmed and, rising from his seat, attempted to run away. The Thief laid hold of his coat and entreated him to stop, saying, “Pray wait, sir, and hold my clothes, or I shall tear them to pieces in my fury, when I turn into a wolf.” At the same moment he yawned the third time and set up a terrible howl. The Innkeeper, frightened lest he should be attacked, left his new coat in the Thief’s hand and ran as fast as he could into the inn for safety. The Thief made off with the coat and did not return again to the inn.


Every tale is not to be believed.

[Note: This fable is similar in nature to The Thief and The Boy but not close enough to be put on the same page.]

1001Fur et Caupo

Fur quidam in diversoria taberna moratus est. Videns cauponem nova pulchraque veste indutum, solum ante ianuam diversorii sedentem, ad eum accessit. Fur coepit primum hiare, postea in lupi morem fremere. Quapropter caupo, “Quid hoc,” inquit, “rei est?” Cui fur, “Tibi mox indicabo, sed primum, ut meas vestes serves peto, eas enim hic relinquam. Nescio undenam mihi huiusmodi hiatus oriatur sed si tertia vice hiaverim, repente lupus fio hominesque devoro.” Vix ea fatus erat cum iterum os aperire ac fremere coepit. His caupo auditis, furem pertimuit, surgensque fugam arripere volebat. Sed fur tunica eum detinens, os aperire coepit, ac tertium hiare. Tum caupo timens ne ab eo devoraretur, relicta penula, in abditissimum diversorii locum fugit. At, penula eius rapta, fur discessit.

Perry #419