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Aesop's Fables: Sir Roger L'Estrange (1692)

189. A WILD ASS AND A TAME (Perry 183)

As a Tame Ass was Airing himself in a Pleasant Meadow, with a Coat and Carcase in very good Plight, up comes a Wild One to him from the next Wood, with this short Greeting. Brother (says he) I Envy your Happiness; and so he left him: It was his Hap some short time after this Encounter, to see his Tame Brother Groaning under an Unmerciful Pack, and a Fellow at his Heels Goading him forward. He rounds him in the Ear upon't, and Whispers him, My Friend (says he) your Condition is not, I perceive, what I took it to be, for a Body may buy Gold too Dear: And I am not for Purchasing good Looks and Provender at this Rate.
THE MORAL. Betwixt Envy and Ingratitude, we make Our selves twice Miserable; out of an Opinion, First, that Our Neighbour has too Much; and, Secondly, that We are Selves have too Little.


L'Estrange originally published his version of the fables in 1692. There is a very nice illustrated edition in the Children's Classics series by Knopf: Sir Roger L'Estrange. Aesop - Fables which is available at amazon.com.