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

191. ASSES TO JUPITER (Perry 185)

The Asses found themselves once so Intolerably Oppressed with cruel Masters and heavy Burdens, that they sent their Ambassadors to Jupiter, with a Petition for Redress. Jupiter found the Request Unreasonable, and so gave them this Answer, That Humane Society could not be preserv'd without carrying Burdens some way or other: So that if they would but join, and Piss up a River, that the Burdens which they now carried by Land might be carried by Water, they should be Eas'd of that Grievance. This set them all a Pissing immediately, and the Humour is kept up to this very Day, that whenever One Ass Pisses, the rest Piss for Company.
THE MORAL. 'Tis the uttermost degree of Madness and Folly, to Appeal from Providenceand Nature.

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.