Voltaire's "The Dog and the Horse" (short story, non-genre, free): Never look at pugmarks of royal animals!
Indian readers will find a lot of similarity with Akbar/Birbal stories; & equally funny. Though not exactly with a happy ending that characterizes local variety.
Story summary.Zadig, a philosopher who's extensively studied "the properties of plants & animals", is walking through the woods on the banks of Euphrates when he is accosted by queen's eunuch & king's huntsman. Looks like queen's bitch & king's horse have escaped.
Zadig becomes prime suspect -- nah, convict for having stolen the animals -- because of his superb reasoning abilities! Fun ensues.
- Plato's "Apology" (download English translation): Innocent & funny interactions of Zadig with royal animal searchers reminded me of similar naivete of Socrates in this mostly funny classic.
Fact sheet.First published: 1747? Where?
Download full text from ebooks@Adelaide. A much more readable translation is available as a somewhat less convenient download - in scans of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, October 1954, included in this larger package.
Related: Stories of Voltaire.