In a town on a remote island lived a God-fearing man whose wife was barren. One day, however, she became pregnant.... The time arrived for the woman to be delivered, and when she gave birth to a son, a fine boy indeed, the husband's heart was filled with joy.
The day soon came for the mother to purify herself, and she said to her husband, "I am going to the bath, and you will remain with the child."
So the father stayed in the house and watched over the infant in the cradle, but a messenger having come to summon him to the king, he locked the door and betook himself to the palace. During his absence a snake crept from a hole and would have bitten the child, had not the dog who was watching the house jumped up and throttled the serpent, bespattering his body with the blood of his victim.
Soon the father returned from the palace and on opening the door, he beheld the faithful dog, who was running to meet his master, besmeared with blood.
"The dog has killed my child," thought the frightened father, and without reflecting he raised his stick and killed the animal that had saved his son.
Great was his joy when he entered the chamber and found the infant alive and the dead serpent on the floor, but his joy was mingled with remorse for his rash act in killing the faithful dog. "Had I not been so hasty," he said, "I would not have committed such an act."
When the wife returned home, she was surprised to behold the bodies of the dead dog and the serpent, and when her husband informed her of all that had occurred during her absence, she wisely remarked, "This will be a lesson to you not to act hastily, for those who act in this way only repent of their deeds when it is too late, and remorse forever remains in their hearts".