Aesop's Fables: Townsend (1867)
255. The Ass and His Purchaser (Perry
A MAN wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its owner that he should
try out the animal before he bought him. He took the Ass home and put
him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon which the new animal
left all the others and at once joined the one that was most idle and
the greatest eater of them all. Seeing this, the man put a halter on him
and led him back to his owner. On being asked how, in so short a time,
he could have made a trial of him, he answered, 'I do not need a trial;
I know that he will be just the same as the one he chose for his companion.'
A man is known by the company he keeps.
George Fyler Townsend's translation of the fables, first published in 1867, is
in the public domain and can be found at many websites, including Project
Illustrations come from: Aesop's Fables, by George Fyler Townsend, with
illustrations by Harrison Weir, 1867, at Google