This story is very adaptable. it can be stretched or shrunk, and I have used it as a teaching tool for facilitators, changing the main character into a facilitator and the ax into her purse.
There was once a farmer who couldn't find his axe. He suddenly saw the boy from across the road and he though 'he looks like a thief and walks like a thief. I'm sure he stole my axe.
The next day the farmer found the axe, exactly where he left it.