<< Home Page | Oxford (Gibbs) Index

Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 91 (Ademar 17)

A donkey used to see the master's pet puppy dog fawning on him day in and day out. The puppy ate his fill of food from the master's table and was also given many treats by the household servants. The donkey said to himself, 'If my master and all the servants are so fond of that nasty little dog, then imagine what will happen if I do as the dog does. After all, I am better than a dog, much more talented and useful in so many ways! Yes, pure water from the sacred fountains will be mine to drink, and elegant food will be mine to eat, since I am far superior to that little dog. It is time for me to enjoy the finer things in life and to command the respect of everyone around me!' As the donkey was reflecting on his situation, he saw the master coming in. He let out a great 'hee-haw' and quickly ran to meet him, leaping up and putting his two front feet on his master's shoulders, licking the master with his tongue and tearing the master's clothes with his hooves. The master collapsed under the donkey's weight and at the sound of the master's shout all the servants came running. They grabbed sticks and stones and attacked the donkey, beating him senseless and breaking his back and his legs. Then they chased him off to the stables, exhausted and barely alive.
Unworthy people should not try to usurp the position of their superiors.

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.