THE ASS AND THE LAP-DOG
A man had an ass and a lapdog. The ass lived in the stable and had plenty of oats and hay. So, he had a very good life for an ass. The little dog was the man's pet. He often fondled him and let him lie on his lap. When he went out to dinner, he would bring the dog some food and give it to him when the dog ran to meet him on his way home. It is true that the ass had a lot of work to do such as carting, grinding the corn, or carrying burdens of the farm. Soon, the ass became jealous of the dog because the dog was always idle and had an easy life. One day he broke his halter, ran into the house when his master sat down to dinner. He jumped and played in the room, he was imitating the playful activities of the little dog. He hit the dinner table and broke the dishes with his clumsy efforts. He even tried to jump on his master's lap. The servants of the house saw that their master was in danger. They beat the stupid ass with sticks and cudgels and drove him out of the house back to his stable. The ass was half dead with beating. "Alas!" he cried, "What have I done to myself?! Why could I not be happy with my natural and honorable position? Why did I wish to imitate the stupid behavior of the little dog?"