The Man, the Boy and the Donkey

Read by Jason Ritter

Full Text

"The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey" by Aesop

A Man and his son were going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side, a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, why don't you just ride the Donkey?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy brat? He lets his poor old father walk while he rides comfortably!"

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that terrible father to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, so he decided to let the Boy ride the Donkey with him. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours, having to lug the two of you at once?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought until at last they both knelt down and, with tremendous strain, hoisted the Donkey onto their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to the market when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end. The Donkey fell to the ground and ran away into some nearby woods.

"That will teach you an important lesson" said an old man who had followed them: