A Miller His Son And Their Ass
: Boys And Girls Bookshelf
A miller and his son were driving their ass to a neighboring fair to
sell him. They had not gone far when they met a troop of women collected
around a well. "Look," cried one, "did you ever see such fellows, to be
trudging on foot when they might ride?" The old man, hearing this, made
his son mount, and continued to walk at his side.
Presently they came to a group of old men in debate. "There," said one
them, "it proves what I was a-saying: what respect is shown to old
age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding, while his old father
has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the old man rest
his weary limbs." Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got
Soon they met a company of women and children. "Why, you lazy old
fellow," cried several tongues at once, "how can you ride upon the
beast, while that poor little lad can hardly keep pace by the side of
you?" The miller immediately took up his son behind him. They had now
almost reached the town.
"Pray, honest friend," said a citizen, "is that ass your own?" "Yes,"
said the old man. "Oh, one would not have thought so," said the other,
"by the way you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry
the poor beast than he you." So they tied the legs of the ass together,
and by the aid of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over
a bridge. The sight brought the people in crowds to laugh at it; till
the ass broke the cords that held him and fell into the river. Upon
this, the old man, vexed and ashamed, made his way home.
In trying to please everybody one is quite likely to please nobody.