Mitra Sarma was a Brahmin living in a small village. He used to daily worship Fire. Once he got a healthy lamb for sacrifice to Gods. Carrying the lamb on his shoulders, the Brahmin began his homeward journey. Three crooks, very hungry and emaciated, crossed his path and seeing the healthy lamb on the Brahminís shoulders thought, "Ah, God has sent us good food. Let us trick the Brahmin into parting with it and free us from hunger and cold." At once, they began to act.
One of them changed into a disguise, and overtaking the Brahmin by another route, stopped him and said, "O what a fool you are? Such a great worshipper of Fire, why are you carrying this dog on your shoulders? This will bring you ridicule. Donít you know that it is a sin to touch a dog, or a rooster, or a donkey?"
The Brahmin lost his temper and said, "You stupid fellow, are you blind? Why do you call a lamb a dog?"
The first crook replied, "Donít be angry, if you think he is not a dog, please carry on. I have no objection."
The Brahmin hardly walked a little distance when the second crook greeted him and said,
"O respected sir, it is highly regrettable that you are carrying a dead calf on your shoulders, however dear it is to you. The man who touches dead animals or birds has to undergo purification rites."
The Brahmin challenged him, "Are you too blind? This is a live sacrificial lamb and you say he is a dead calf."
The second crook said, "All right, sir. Please excuse me. I am an ignorant fool. Do as it pleases you."
Now it was the turn of the third crook to cross the Brahminís path.
Turning to the Brahmin, the crook said, "Sir, it is highly improper. You are carrying a donkey on your shoulders. This is not done. The elders have said he who touches a donkey, knowingly or otherwise, has to take a bath fully dressed. So, please leave him before anybody notices it."
Thinking that he was really carrying a donkey, the poor Brahmin threw the lamb to the ground and went home.
Common sense and a little bit of cunning can subdue stronger enemies.