One day, three hungry crooks crossed the path of an old man carrying a healthy goat back home from the market. They wanted to take it from him, but didn't want to attach the old man. So they made a plan.

The first one stopped the man and asked him, “Why are you carrying a dog on your shoulder?”

The man replied. “Can’t you see it is a goat, not a dog?”

“Don’t be angry,” replied the first crook. “If you think it is not a dog, then please carry on. But isn’t it ridiculous that you are carrying a dog?”

The old man walked a few more steps, then the second crook stopped him and looked at him in shock.

`Aren't you carrying a dead calf on the shoulder?” exclaimed the crook.

The man yelled, “Are you blind too? This is a healthy and live goat and you say he is a dead calf. You are an ignorant fool!”

“All right, sir,” said the second crook. “Please forgive me. Do as you please.”

“What’s wrong with everyone?” wondered the man as he hurried towards his home. “The whole world has gone mad?”

Now it was the turn of the third crook. “Sir, why are you carrying a donkey on your shoulders? It is going to bring you misfortune.”

Now the man was confused. Three people have said that the goat was something else. “Have I been given a ghost that keeps changing into a dog, a dead calf or a donkey!” he wondered. “I don’t want this creature.”

“Before it turns into something else, I better get rid of it.” Confused and scared, he threw the goat to the ground and took to his heels.

Coming out of their hiding place, the crooks took the goat and laughed at the stupidity of the old man.


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Credit: this is paraphrased from this site.