THE SOLDIER AND THE TRUMPET
There was once a soldier, a weary veteran of many battles who had vowed to kindle
a bonfire and consign his weapons to the flames including all those weapons
which many a dying man had surrendered to him in victory along with anything
that he had been able to seize from the enemy forces as they fled the field.
Since Fortune had favoured his wishes, the soldier was now about to carry out
his vow, so he began casting the weapons one by one onto the burning pyre. The
trumpet, however, protested loudly, denying his guilt and insisting that he
was being sent undeservedly to the flames of the fire. 'You cannot claim that
my powers were used to launch any missiles directed at your mighty arms,' said
the trumpet. 'All I did was to urge the weapons onward with my blast and my
blare. Indeed, I swear by all the stars in heaven that I actually tried to blow
as quietly as possible!' The soldier nevertheless added the trumpet to the rest
of the weapons. As the trumpet tossed and turned in the crackling flames, the
soldier remarked, 'All the more reason for you to suffer this pain and punishment!
Although you did not actually accomplish anything on your own, you are all the
more vicious on that account, since you urged others to do wicked deeds.'