Aesop Fables

The Salt Merchant and the Donkey

Aesop Fables

Fidy Says

The Salt Merchant and the Donkey

A Salt Merchant drove his Donkey to the seashore to buy salt. His road home lay across a stream into which his Donkey tripped and fell by accident. When the Donkey got out of the water, his load considerably lighter, as the water melted the salt in the sack.

The Merchant went back to the market by the seashore and refilled his bags with a larger quantity of salt than before. When he came again to the stream, the Donkey fell down on purpose in the same spot, and, regaining his feet with the weight of his load much diminished, brayed triumphantly as if he had obtained what he desired.

The Merchant saw through this trick and drove the Donkey for the third time to the coast, where he bought a cargo of sponges instead of salt.

The Donkey, again playing the fool, fell down on purpose when he reached the stream, but the sponges became swollen with water, greatly increasing his load. Thus his trick recoiled on him, for he now carried on his back a double burden.

Moral: Don’t try a trick too often or it will turn against you.

posted in Donkey, People | 29 Suggested Morals

The Donkey and the Mule

A Muleteer (Mule-Driver) set off on a journey, driving before him a Donkey and a Mule, both well laden with goods to trade and money.

The Donkey, as long as he traveled along the flatlands, carried his load easily, but when he began to ascend the steep path of the mountain, he felt his load to be more than he could bear.

The Donkey pleaded with the Mule to relieve him of a small portion of his load, that he might carry home the rest; but the Mule paid no attention to the request.

The Donkey shortly afterwards fell down dead under his burden. Not knowing what else to do in such a wild region, the Muleteer placed upon the Mule the load carried by the Donkey in addition to his own, and at the top of all placed the hide of the Donkey, after he had skinned him.

The Mule, groaning beneath his heavy burden, said to himself: “I am treated according to my deserts. If I had only been willing to assist the Donkey a little in his need, I should not now be bearing, together with his burden, himself as well.”

Moral: Help your friends in their need or you will carry the burden all by yourself.

posted in Donkey, Miscellaneous | 17 Suggested Morals

The Donkey and the Lapdog

A man had an Donkey, and a Maltese Lapdog, a very great beauty. The Donkey was left in a stable and had plenty of oats and hay to eat, just as any other Donkey would. The Lapdog knew many tricks and was a great favorite with his master, who often played games with him and seldom went out to dine without bringing him home something special to eat.

The Donkey had much work to do in grinding the corn-mill and in carrying wood from the forest or burdens from the farm. He often lamented his own hard fate and contrasted it with the luxury and idleness of the Lapdog. One day the Donkey broke his cords and halter, and galloped into his master’s house, kicking up his heels and frisking and fawning as well as he could.

The Donkey next tried to jump about his master as he had seen the Lapdog do, but he broke the table and smashed all the dishes upon it to tiny bits. He then attempted to lick his master, and jumped upon his back.

The servants, hearing the strange commotion and perceiving the danger of their master, attacked the Donkey and drove him out to his stable with kicks and clubs and cuffs.

The Donkey, as he returned to his stall beaten nearly to death, lamented: “I have brought it all on myself! Why could I not have been contented to labor with my companions, and not wish to be idle all the day like that useless little Lapdog!”

Moral: Be content with what your own talents.

posted in Dog, Donkey | 44 Suggested Morals

The Donkey, the Fox and the Lion

The Donkey and the Fox, having entered into partnership together for their mutual protection, went out into the forest to hunt. They had not gone far when they met a Lion.

The Fox, seeing the imminent danger, approached the Lion and promised to arrange the capture of the Donkey if the Lion would pledge his word not to harm the Fox.

The Fox went back to the Donkey and, assuring him that he would not be hurt, the Fox led the Donkey to a deep pit and arranged that he should fall into it.

The Lion, seeing that the Donkey was secured, immediately grabbed the Fox, and attacked the Donkey at his leisure.

Moral: Don’t give up your friends to someone stronger than you to save yourself.

posted in Donkey, Fox, Lion | 26 Suggested Morals

The Donkey and the Grasshopper

A Donkey, having heard some Grasshoppers chirping, was greatly intrigued and wanted to possess the same charming melody.

The Donkey asked one of the Grasshoppers what sort of food they lived on to give them such beautiful voices.

They replied, “The dew.”

Upon hearing this, the Donkey decided that he would live only upon dew, and in a short time died of hunger.

Moral: Only do what is appropriate for you to do.

posted in Donkey, Grasshopper | 17 Suggested Morals

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