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The Jealous Ass

Illustration 069

The Jealous Ass

"There  lived," says friend Esop, "some ages ago,

An ass who had feelings acute, you must know;

This ass to be jealous, felt strongly inclined,

And for reasons which follow, felt hurt in his mind."

It seems that his master, as I understand,

Had a favorite dog which he fed from his hand.

Nay, the dog was permitted to jump on his knee:

An honor that vex'd our poor donkey to see.

"Now," thought he, "what's the reason, I cannot see any,

That I have no favors, while he has so many?

If all this is got by just wagging his tail,

Why I  have got one, which I'll wag without fail."

So the donkey resolved to try what he could do

And, determined unusual attentions to show,

When his master was dining, came into the room.

"Good sir!" said his friends, "why your donkey is come!"

"Indeed!" said their host, great astonishment showing,

When he saw the ass come, while his tail was a-going;

But who can describe his dismay or fear,

When the donkey rear'd up, and bray'd loud in his ear!

"You rascal get down,—John, Edward, or Dick!

Where are you? make haste, and come here with a stick."

The man roared—the guests laugh'd—the dog bark'd—the bell rung:

Coals, poker, and tongs, at the donkey were flung,

Till the blows and the kicks, with combined demonstration,

Convinced him that this was a bad speculation;

So, mortified deeply, his footsteps retrod he,

Hurt much in his mind, but still more in his body.


So some silly children, as stupid as may be,

Will cry for indulgences fit for a baby.

Had they enter'd the room while the donkey withdrew,

They'd have seen their own folly and punishment too:

Let them think of this fable, and what came to pass;

Nor forget, he who play'd this fine game was an ass.

Illustration 072