Not the Hook from Neverland, but the Hook from “Crack, Crook, and Hook” infamy. I wrote about Crack and Crook earlier and their misadventures in stealing from the king’s treasury. Well, the story that includes Hook seems to precede that.
See, Crack, Crook, and Hook, all being premier thieves, are not content until they find out who is the bestest. Crack goes to steal a magpie’s eggs. While he’s busy with that, Crook steals Crack’s bootheels without him noticing. Hook then steals the heels from Crook. It being decided that Hook is, in fact, the most awesome among them, he then says “So long, suckers!” and heads out on his own, amasses a fortune, opens up a butchery shop, and marries a buxom young lass (well, the story doesn’t say she was buxom, but I like to think she was).
Years later Crack and Crook come upon his shop. They go in and try to steal a quartered pig from Hook, but fail miserably because, let’s face it, Hook is the man.
Source: Calvino, Italo, “Crack, Crook, and Hook”, Italian Folktales, Penguin Books, 2002. Translated by George Martin.