Once, there lived a pious Brahmin in a small village, by the name of Mitra Sharma. He used to perform religious rituals. On one occasion, he was rewarded with a goat for his services by a wealthy man. The Brahmin was happy to get a goat as the reward. He happily slung the goat over his shoulder and began the journey towards his home. On the way, three cheats (Thugs) saw the Brahmin taking the goat.
All of them were lazy and wanted to cheat the Brahmin so that they could take away the goat. They said,” This goat will make a delicious meal for all of us. Let’s somehow get it”. They discussed the matter amongst themselves and devised a plan to get the goat by befooling the Brahmin. After deciding the plan, they got separated from one another and took different hiding positions at three different places on the way of the Brahmin.
As soon as, the Brahmin arrived at a lonely place, one of the cheats came out of his hiding place and asked Brahmin in a shocking manner, “Sir, what are you doing? I don’t understand why a pious man like you needs to carry a dog on his shoulders?” The Brahmin was surprised to hear such words. He screamed, “Can’t you see? It’s not a dog but a goat, you stupid fool”. The cheat replied,” Sir, I beg your pardon. I told you what I saw. I am sorry, if you don’t believe it.” The Brahmin was annoyed at the discrepancy, but started his journey once again.
The Brahmin had barely walked a distance, when another cheat came out of his hiding place and asked the Brahmin, “Sir, why do you carry a dead calf on your shoulders? You seem to be a wise person. Such an act is pure stupidity on your part.” The Brahmin yelled, “What? How can you mistake a living goat for a dead calf?” The second cheat replied, “”Sir, you seem to be highly mistaken in this regard. Either you don’t know how does goat look like or you are doing it knowingly. I just told you what I saw. Thank you”. The second cheat went away smiling. The Brahmin got confused, but continued to walk further.
Again the Brahmin had covered a little distance when the third cheat met him. The third cheat asked laughingly, “Sir, why do you carry a donkey on your shoulders? It makes you a laughing stock”. Hearing the words of the third thug, the Brahmin became really worried. He started thinking, “Is it really not a goat? Is it some kind of a ghost?”
He thought that the animal he was carrying on his shoulders might really be some sort of a ghost, because it transformed itself from goat into a dog, from dog into a dead calf and from dead calf into a donkey. The Brahmin got frightened to such an extent that he hurled the goat on the roadside and ran away. The three tricksters laughed at the gullible Brahmin. They caught the goat and were happy to feast on it.