A FARMER once had a faithful dog called Sultan, who had grown old, and
lost all his teeth, so that he could no longer hold anything fast. One
day the farmer was standing with his wife before the house-door, and said,
"To-morrow I intend to shoot Old Sultan, he is no longer of any use."
His wife, who felt pity for the faithful beast, answered, "He has served
us so long, and been so faithful, that we might well give him his keep."
"Eh! what?" said the man. "You are not very sharp. He has not a tooth
left in his mouth, and not a thief is afraid of him; now he may be
off. If he has served us, he has had good feeding for it."
The poor dog, who was lying stretched out in the sun not far off, had
heard everything, and was sorry that the morrow was to be his last day. He
had a good friend, the wolf, and he crept out in the evening into the
forest to him, and complained of the fate that awaited him. "Hark ye,
gossip," said the wolf, "be of good cheer, I will help you out of your
trouble. I have thought of something. To-morrow, early in the morning,
your master is going with his wife to make hay, and they will take their
little child with them, for no one will be left behind in the house. They
are wont, during work-time, to lay the child under the hedge in the shade;
you lay yourself there too, just as if you wished to guard it. Then I will
 come out of the wood, and carry off the child. You must rush swiftly after
me, as if you would seize it again from me. I will let it fall, and you
will take it back to its parents, who will think that you have saved it,
and will be far too grateful to do you any harm; on the contrary, you will
be in high favor, and they will never let you want for anything again."
The plan pleased the dog, and it was carried out just as it was
arranged. The father screamed when he saw the Wolf running across the
field with his child, but when Old Sultan brought it back, then he was
full of joy, and stroked him and said, "Not a hair of yours shall be
hurt, you shall eat my bread free as long as you live." And to his wife
he said, "Go home at once and make Old Sultan some bread-sop that he
will not have to bite, and bring the pillow out of my bed, I will give
him that to lie upon."
Henceforth Old Sultan was as well off as he could wish to be.
Soon afterwards the wolf visited him, and was pleased that everything
had succeeded so well. "But, gossip," said he, "you will just wink
an eye if when I have a chance, I carry off one of your master's fat
sheep." "Do not reckon upon that," answered the dog; "I will remain true
to my master; I cannot agree to that." The wolf, who thought that this
could not be spoken in earnest, came creeping about in the night and
was going to take away the sheep. But the farmer, to whom the faithful
Sultan had told the wolf's plan, caught him and dressed his hide soundly
with the flail. The wolf had to pack off, but he cried out to the dog,
"Wait a bit, you scoundrel, you shall pay for this."
The next morning the wolf sent the boar to challenge the dog to come
out into the forest so that they might settle the affair. Old Sultan
could find no one to stand by him but a cat with only three legs, and
as they went out together the poor cat limped along, and at the same
time stretched out her tail into the air with pain.
The wolf and his friend were already on the spot appointed, but when they
saw their enemy coming they thought that he was bringing a sabre with
him, for they
 mistook the outstretched tail of the cat for one. And when
the poor beast hopped on its three legs, they could only think every time
that it was picking up a stone to throw at them. So they were both afraid;
the wild boar crept into the under-wood and the wolf jumped up a tree.
The dog and the cat, when they came up, wondered that there was no one
to be seen. The wild boar, however, had not been able to hide himself
altogether; and one of his ears was still to be seen. Whilst the cat was
looking carefully about, the boar moved his ear; the cat, who thought
it was a mouse moving there, jumped upon it and bit it hard. The boar
made a fearful noise and ran away, crying out, "The guilty one is up in
the tree." The dog and cat looked up and saw the wolf, who was ashamed
of having shown himself so timid, and made friends with the dog.