An eminent nobleman found one morning that his house had been broken into and all his belongings stolen.
Instead of sounding alarms, he gathered his wives and children in the courtyard, and without saying anything, took place in their midst, calmly smoking his pipe.
Towards the middle of the morning, two young men arrived. They found the family gathered in silence, and thinking that they were mourning the theft that they had perpetrated the night before, they spread in compassion:
- We were out of the village for several days, said one to the nobleman. Back this morning, we were informed of what has happened to you, and we could not leave without coming to commiserate with you.
For all answer, he had them arrested and tied, before telling them what he had been victim of. The young men confessed.
It is since this story that there is an adage which says that we catch the animal by the paw and the man by the word.
Fables des Montagnes de Patrice Kayo, Collection Les CLES de l’avenir, Editions CLE, Yaounde, p. 39 (1998). Translated to English by Dr. Y., Afrolegends.com