Multilingual Folk Tale Database


Author: Phaedrus - 41 AD

Translated into English
  by C. Smart - 1887

Source: The Fables of Phaedrus

Original title (Latin):
Asinus ad Senem Pastorem

Country of origin: Italy


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The Sapient Ass

Phaedrus / C. Smart

In all the changes of a state,
The poor are the most fortunate,
Who, save the name of him they call
Their king, can find no odds at all.
The truth of this you now may read-
A fearful old man in a mead,
While leading of his Ass about,
Was startled at the sudden shout
Of enemies approaching nigh.
He then advised the Ass to fly,
"Lest we be taken in the place:"
But loth at all to mend his pace,
"Pray, will the conqueror," quoth Jack,
"With double panniers load my back ?"
"No," says the man. "If that's the thing,"
Cries he, "I care not who is king."