Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
410. THE DONKEY, THE HORSE AND THE WAR
Perry 357 (Syntipas
A donkey and a horse belonged to the same man, and each of them did his
duty. But the horse was granted many special privileges: he had plenty
of food to eat, his flowing mane was braided and decorated, and his grooms
washed him down with water each and every day. The donkey, on the other
hand, was always bent down under the weight of the burdens he had to carry.
Then one day the horse's owner mounted him and rode off into battle. In
the clash of opposing forces, the horse was wounded on more than one occasion.
When the donkey saw how the horse had been degraded, he congratulated
himself on his hard-working life of labour.
The fable shows that an impoverished life free from fear is much to
be preferred to wealth and all its dangers.
Note: This same fable appears in Rumi,
Mathnawi 5.2361 ff.
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.