ST NEOT AND THE THIEVES
When St Neot was abbot, some thieves came by night and stole the oxen belonging to the farm of the monastery. The weather was most uncertain,--the seed-time was passing away,--and a fine morning rendered it imperative that the ploughs should be quickly employed. There were no oxen. Great was the difficulty, and earnest were the abbot's prayers. In answer to them, the wild stags came in from the forests, and tamely offered their necks to the yoke. When unyoked in the evening, they resorted to their favourite pastures, but voluntarily returned each morning to their work. The report of this event reached the ears of the thieves. They became penitent, and restored the oxen to the monastery. Not only so, but they consecrated their days to devotional exercises. The oxen being restored, the stags were dismissed; but they bore for ever a white ring, like a yoke about their necks, and they held a charmed life, safe from the shafts of the hunters.