Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
265. (Abstemius 11) Oxen and a Piece of Timber.
The Timber was complaining of the Ingratitude of the Oxen. How often, says the Timber, have I fed ye with my Leaves, and reliev'd ye under my Shadow? and for you to drag me now at this Rate, over Dirt and Stones! Alas! cry'd the Oxen: Do not you see how we pant and groan, and how we are goaded on, to do what we do? The Timber consider'd how unwillingly they did it, and so forgave them.
What we are forc'd to do by an Over-ruling Power and Necessity is not properly our own Act.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.