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Group Three

21 The tortoise

22 A thin reed survives

23 The lion and the mouse

24 The goat and the lion

25 The mother lion

26 The donkey's shadow

27 The dove and the ant

28 The greedy boy's hand

29 The greedy woman

30 The tricky donkey

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30. The Tricky Donkey Gets Tricked

A groceryman once bought some salt
And piled it on his donkey's back,
Then started on the long trek home
Along a slippery river track.

        The bags of salt were piled up high
        And felt just like a tone of stones
        Or blocks of granite, clay or lead
        To that poor donkey's aching bones.

Then WHOOPS! his feet slipped! Down he fell
Into the river swirling there,
And all the salt dissolved away--
Which made his load a breeze to bear.

        Next day, again the donkey slipped,
        This time on purpose, thought the man,
        And once again the salt dissolved!
        So that smart grocer made a plan.

He loaded Donkey's aching back
With sponges, piled up high like bricks.
When they got wet, they weighed a ton,
And that cured Donkey of his tricks.

MORAL: Don't try the same trick too many times.

from the book Prayers and Fables and the forthcoming book Aesop's Best: 80 Fables in Verse by William Cleary



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