Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
400. THE DONKEY, THE DOG AND THE LETTER
Perry 264 (Chambry
A donkey and a dog were journeying together when they found a sealed
letter on the ground. The donkey took the letter, broke the seals, and
opened it. The donkey then began to read the letter aloud, while the dog
sat there listening. The letter happened to be about food, that is, about
barley and straw and hay. As the donkey was reading, the dog grew impatient
and finally he said to the donkey, 'You can skip that part, my dear; perhaps
further down you will find some information about meat and bones.' The
donkey scanned the rest of the letter but he didn't find what the dog
was looking for. The dog then said to the donkey, 'Throw it back on the
ground; it has nothing to offer!'
The story shows that different people are interested in different things.
Note: Compare the Greek proverb 'to give straw to a dog, bones to a
donkey' (see Erasmus, Adages 3.5.14).
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.