An interesting story which mentions even the year!
In the year 1664, a young boy from Dresden took care of the herd of the village. One morning when he was taking his sheep for grazing, he spotted an unusual stone on the roadside. It was of moderate size, but it was jumping on the ground by itself. The curious boy stepped closer and looked at the stone. After sometime, he picked it up from the ground. As soon as he lifted the stone, a young meerkat hopped surprising him; then stood in front of the shepherd boy looking straight at him. Then it said in a human voice, “I was deported deep inside the ground, now you have brought me back to life. I will be happy to serve you now. Give me some work. I have to keep myself engaged. “
The flabbergasted boy somehow replied, “Well, you should help me to look after my sheep then.” Following his order, the tiny manlike animal guarded the flock like an expert shepherd till the evening.
In the evening, the boy was preparing to take the flock to the village. The meerkat said, “I want to go with you wherever you go.”
The boy replied without more ado, “I cannot take you to my house. I have a stepfather and several siblings. My father would beat me badly if I get another mouth to feed with me. Our home is too small to accommodate another person.”
“But you have accepted me once”, protested the ghostly creature, “if you do not want me for yourself, you have to keep me with someone else elsewhere.”
So the boy directed him to his childless neighbour’s house. The meerkat found a proper home there forever thereafter.