Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
346. (Abstemius 95) A Lion, Ass, and Hare.
Upon the breaking out of a War betwixt the Birds and the Beasts, the Lion summon'd all his Subjects from Sixteen to Sixty, to appear in Arms, at such a certain Time and Place, upon Pain of his high Displeasure; and there were a World of Asses and Hares at the Rendezvouz among the Rest. Several of the Commanders were for turning 'em off, and discharging 'em, as Creatures entirely unfit for Service. Do not mistakes your self (says the Lion) the Asses will do very well for Trumpeters, and the Hares will make Excellent Letter-Carriers.
God and Nature made nothing in vain. There is no Member of a Political Body so Mean and Inconsiderable, but it may be useful to the Publick in some Station or other.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.