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The Man, the Boy and the Donkey

A man and his son were going to market with their donkey. As they were making their way down the dusty road, a man passed them and jeered, What's wrong with you people? Why are you walking your donkey as if it were a dog? Donkeys are to ride upon! So the man put his son on the donkey, and the threesome proceeded on their journey to market. They soon passed a group of men. In a loud whisper, one of the men said, Look at that family.

They are spoiling the boy by letting him ride on that poor donkey. The man and his son heard the remark, and so the boy dismounted and they resumed their journey. Just about that time, two women walked to the side of the road and the first one shook a long, wrinkled finger at the man.

You should take better care of your boy, mister. It's too hot for him to be walking on those tender feet. Why isn't he riding atop that stupid donkey? The man and the boy looked at each other. They didn't know what to do.

To please the two women, the boy got back on the donkey and the man, the boy and the donkey headed down the road. The threesome had just arrived at the village when a group of people in the town square walked up. Aren't you ashamed for burdening that sweet donkey with your lazy son? There ought to be a law against such abuse! they said.

The boy got off the donkey. They thought and thought about what to do. Then the boy had an idea. They cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. At the market bridge, hundreds of people swarmed to see the ridiculous sight.

There was laughter and more laughter until the donkey accidentally got one foot loose, kicked out, and threw the boy off balance. The boy dropped his end of the pole and in the commotion; the donkey fell over the side of the bridge.

His forefeet were still tied together, so he could not save himself. The boy and the man watched sadly as their beloved donkey drowned.

Try to please everyone
and you please no one.


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