ENGLISH

Old Sultan

PORTUGUÊS

O velho Sultão


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.
Um camponês possuia um cachorro muito fiel, chamado Sultão, que tinha ficado velho e perdera todos os dentes, de modo que não podia apanhar mais nada. Um dia, estava o camponês com sua mulher à porta de casa e dizia:
- Amanhã vou matar o velho Sultão, pois já não serve para nada.
A mulher, que tinha pena do animal tão fiel, disse:
- Ele nos serviu, honestamente, durante muitos anos! Bem poderiamos sustentá-lo caridosamente.
- Qual o quê, - volveu o homem; - tu estás louca! não tem mais um dente sequer na boca e não há ladrão que o tema; é hora que se vá. Se nos serviu, em compensação teve também ótimos petiscos.
O pobre cão, que estava deitado ao sol, aí perto, ouviu tudo e ficou triste ante a perspectiva de que o dia seguinte seria o seu último dia. Tinha ele um bom amigo, o lobo. À noite, foi às escondidas visitá-lo na floresta e com ele lamentou o destino que o aguardava.
- Escuta, compadre, - disse-lhe o lobo, - não desanimes, eu te ajudarei a livrar-te desta. Tenho uma ideia. Amanhã cedo, teu patrão e a mulher vão apanhar feno e levam consigo o filhinho, porque em casa não fica ninguém para olhar por ele. Enquanto trabalham, deixam sempre a criança à sombra, atrás da cerca; deita-te perto dele como se montasses guarda; eu, então, sairei da floresta e o roubarei. Tu me corres logo ao encalço, como se quisesses salvá-lo. Eu o deixarei cair e tu o levarás aos pais que, certos de o teres salvo, ficar-te-ão muito gratos e nenhum mal te farão: ao contrário, voltarás a ser estimado e não te deixarão faltar mais nada.
O projeto agradou ao cão, que o executou tal e qual. Vendo o lobo correndo pelo campo com a criança na boca, o homem pôs-se a gritar; mas, daí a pouco, quando o velho Sultão o trouxe de volta, disse, muito feliz, acariciando-o:
- Não terás um só pelo torcido, e te sustentarei enquanto viveres.
Depois disse à mulher:
- Vai já para casa e prepara um bom mingau para o velho Sultão, a fim de que não precise mastigar, e traze o meu travesseiro; vou dar-lho para que durma nele.
Desde esse momento, o velho Sultão passou tão regaladamente que não poderia desejar melhor. Pouco de pois, o lobo foi visitá-lo e alegrou-se ao ver que tudo lhe correra às mil maravilhas.
- Porém, compadre, - disse o lobo, - fecharás um olho se eu por acaso furtar uma bela ovelha de teu patrão. Hoje em dia é difícil cavar a vida!
- Não contes com isso, - respondeu o cão, - permanecerei sempre fiel ao meu patrão; portanto, não farei concessões.
O lobo julgou que o cão não falava seriamente e, durante a noite, aproximou-se sorrateiramente para furtar a ovelha. Mas o camponês, ao qual o fiel Sultão havia revelado as intenções do lobo, ficou espreitando-o e penteou-lhe o pelo com o relho. O lobo foi obrigado a safar- se, mas gritou ao cão:
- Espera, amigo falso, hás de me pagar!
Na manhã seguinte, o lobo enviou o javali a fim de convidar o cão à floresta para resolver a questão. O velho Sultão não conseguiu encontrar outro padrinho senão um pobre gato com três pernas só; quando sairam juntos, o pobre gato caminhava coxeando e, pela dor, erguia alto a cauda.
O lobo e o seu padrinho já se encontravam no local, mas quando viram chegar o adversário julgaram que vinha armado de espada, que era, em vez, a cauda do gato. Enquanto o pobre animalzinho saltitava com três pernas, o lobo e seu padrinho pensavam que, toda vez que se abaixava e levantava, apanhava uma pedra para atirar neles. Então os dois ficaram com medo; o javali escondeu-se entre a folhagem e o lobo trepou numa árvore.
Aproximando-se, o cão e o gato surpreenderam-se de não encontrar ninguém. Mas o javali não pudera esconder-se completamente e as orelhas apareciam por cima da folhagem. Enquanto o gato olhava à sua volta com desconfiança, o javali agitou as orelhas; o gato então, confundindo-o com um rato, lançou-se sobre ele mordendo-o com força. Então o javali deu um salto e fugiu berrando:
- Ali, em cima da árvore, está o culpado!
O cão e o gato ergueram os olhos e avistaram o lobo, que se envergonhou de ter demonstrado tanto medo e aceitou o tratado de paz com o cão.




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