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

64. A LADEN ASS AND A HORSE (Perry 181)

As a Horse and an Ass were upon the Way together, the Ass cry’d out to his Companion, to ease him of his Burden, tho’ never so little, he should fall down dead else. The Horse would not; and so his fellow Servant sunk under his Load. The Master, upon this, had the Ass flaid, and laid his whole Pack, Skin and all, upon the Horse: Well (says he) this Judgement is befall’n me for my ill Nature, in refusing to help my Brother in the Depth of his Distress.
THE MORAL. It is a christian, a natural, a reasonable, and a political Duty, for all Members of the same Body to assist one another.

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.