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Polaris AB: The Fable Collection of Short Stories
A man took his son to the market with their donkey beside them.
As they walked, a farmer passed by them – “What fools you are to walk alongside a donkey that is there to ride upon”.
So the man told his son to climb up on the donkey’s back while he led it upon the road.
They passed a group of men who loudly exclaimed – “See that lazy youngster, letting his father walk while he rides”.
The man ordered the boy off the donkey and climbed on instead.
They had not travelled far when two women passed by saying – “Shame on that lazy lout letting his poor son trudge alongside”.
So the man took the boy up onto the donkey’s back before him.
They reached the market, where the passers-by scolded and jeered – “Look at them, both riding that poor donkey, how poor and simple must they be to overload a donkey like that”.
The man and the boy both got off at the market and tried to think what they could do.
The man purchased a cart and he and his son pulled the cart along the road with the donkey riding within it.
Amid the laughter of all who saw them, the boy misplaced his step and dropped the arm of the cart which rolled away down the road towards Market Bridge and then plunged into the river. They watched as the cart and the donkey sunk beneath the surface and were swept away.
An old man that had been following them said – “No matter what you have done, you have been judged – and in trying to please all, you have pleased none”.
And the Moral of the story is:
Follow your own path, if you expect to be judged by your actions, in trying to please everyone, you will please no-one.
Aesop's Fables c.600 B.C.