On the thief and the hat is on fire

"On the thief and the hat is on fire!" - this aphorism is used, wanting to show that a person who has committed any unseemly act will certainly betray himself as something. But where did this expression come from, and why is the cap on the thief burning? It turns out a story with a similar plot is described in one of the Slavic epics.

Once a rich and influential city dweller was robbed at the bazaar, they could not catch the thief, but the exits from the market were blocked. The guard was sent for a local sorcerer to find the thief in the crowd. The sorcerer came and, in front of the astonished audience, began his magic ritual, at the end of which he loudly said that the hat on the thief had caught fire. Frightened, the thief grabbed his hat, which gave himself away. So he was caught by the cunning sorcerer in person, and since then the phrase "On the thief and the hat is on fire" has gone to the people.

This is the story of this aphorism that came to us from ancient times. By the way, this catch phrase is found not only in Russian, but also in other Slavic languages.