Aesop's Fables: Asses

And here are some more donkey fables in verse, this time by Sir Brooke Boothby, and I have also provided here a brief note for each poem to help make the plot more clear.

[Notes by LKG]

These fables are part of the Aesop's Fables (English) unit. Story source: Fables and Satires by Sir Brooke Boothby (1809).


Aesop's Fables: Asses
The fable of "the donkey in the lion's skin" is one of the most famous of Aesop's fables.

The Ass in the Lion's Skin

Fools may on other fools impose;
The sage their real value knows.

An Ass once found a lion's skin
And, rolling up himself therein,
From every fold that he came nigh
Made flocks and herds and shepherds fly.

Ranging the country round, at last
He meets his master where he past,
Who Long-ears instantly descries
Through his magnificent disguise.

Laying his cudgel on his side,
"Get home thou stupid fool," he cried;
"With others for a Lion pass;
I know thee for an arrant Ass."


In this fable, the donkey and ape think that they are badly off, but have a lesson to learn from the mole.

The Ass, the Ape and the Mole

They who their sorrows most bemoan
May find worse miseries than their own.

An Ass his want of horns bewails;
An Ape that Apes are short of tails;
"What would you say," a Mole replies,
"Were you, like me, depriv'd of eyes?"


In this fable likewise, the donkey learns that his lot in life is not the best, but it certainly could be worse!

The Horse and the Ass

He on the ground who rests his head
Sleeps of no precipice in dread.

An Ass with envying eye surveyed
A Courser in his war-parade,
Curvetting to the trumpet's sound,
With steps that scarcely touch'd the ground.

The squadrons join, the battle burns,
Stript, wounded, lame, the Horse returns.

The Ass then grateful felt that Heav'n
To him a humbler lot had giv'n.


And while the donkey in the previous fable learned modesty and humility, that is a lesson the donkey in this fable has yet to learn.

The Ass Carrying Relics

An Ass some Relics bore along,
Which, worshiped by the stupid throng,
He thought 'twas him they thus respected.

With stately step and ears erected
As pleas'd he star'd about, the guide
Drubb'd with a stick his dusty hide,
Crying, "March, idiot! Don't you see
Thy load they kneel to, not to thee!"

Next: More Asses






(300 words)



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