by Patzia

Story of the person whose ram was stolen by some thieves.
Not content with that, they stole his clothes too
by means of a trick.

A certain man had a ram which he was leading along behind him:
a thief carried off the ram, having cut its halter.
As soon as the owner noticed, he began to run to left and right
looking for his stolen ram.
Beside a well he saw the thief crying, “Alas! Woe is me!”

470 “O master,” said the first man, “why are you lamenting?”
The thief replied, “My purse full of gold has fallen into the well.
If you can go in and fetch it out, I will give you a fifth of the
hundred dinars in it with pleasure.”
The owner of the ram said to himself, “Why, this is the price of ten
If one door is shut ten doors are opened: if a ram is gone, God
gives a camel in compensation.”
He took off his clothes and went into the well: at once the thief
carried away his clothes too.
475 A prudent man is needed to find the way to the village: if
prudence be absent, cupidity brings calamity

The Devil is a mischievous thief: like a phantom, he appears in a
different shape at every moment.
None but God knows his cunning: take refuge with God and
escape from that impostor[2].

[1] Literally, “pestilence.”[2] Or, “imposture.”

Mathnawi, book VI

Painting: ‘Ram’ by Farnsworth