In the reign of the emperor Otto (the story does not say which of the four monarchs of that name is meant) there lived a certain priest whose conduct was not of the most edifying. As a result his parishioners were extremely scandalized, and one of them gave up going to Mass. Now it so happened that, as this man was walking in the fields one Sunday, while Mass was being celebrated, he was befallen by a terrible feeling of thirst. He discovered a rivulet of pure water, from which he at once drank to quench his thirst. But the more he drank, the more his thirst grew, and he decided to follow the streamlet to its source, there to drink his fill. As he proceeded, an old man of majestic appearance met him and said: “My friend, whither are you going?” The man explained his case, and the old man pointed out to him the spring-head of the rivulet. Then he added: “But why, my good friend, are you not at church?” The other then complained of the evil priest and his ways. To which the old man returned: “Suppose what you say is true. Observe this fountain, from which so much excellent water issues, and from which you have lately drunk.” He looked in the direction pointed out and beheld a putrid dog with its mouth wide open, and its teeth black and decayed, through which the whole fountain gushed in a surprising manner. The man regarded the stream with great terror and confusion of mind, ardently desirous of quenching his thirst but apprehensive of poison from the fetid and loathsome carcass, with which, to all appearance, the water was imbued. “Be not afraid,” said the old man, “because you have already drunk of the rivulet; drink again, it will not harm you.” He followed this bidding and this time did quench his thirst. Then the old man drove home the lesson: “Just as this water, gushing through the mouth of a putrid dog, is neither polluted nor loses aught of its natural taste or color, so is the celebration of the Mass by a worthless priest.” With these words he disappeared; but the good man henceforth went punctually to Mass.