Monday, June 17, 2019

Aesop's Fables: The Ass and the Purchaser


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Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media.  The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him.

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The Ass and the Purchaser

A man wished to purchase an ass, and agreed with its owner that he should try him before he bought him.

He took the ass home, and put him in the barnyard with his other asses, upon which he left all the others, and joined himself at once to the most idle and the greatest eater of them all.

The man put a halter on him, and led him back to his owner, saying: I do not need a trial; I know that he will be just such another as the one whom he chose for his companion.

Moral:

People are known by the company they keep.

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Which reminds me of the lyrics to a 1930’s song:

'Twas an evening in November
As I very well remember
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride
But my knees were all a-flutter
So I sat down in the gutter
When a pig came up and lay down by my side.
We sand “Never mind the weather
Just as long as we’re together”
When a lady passing by was heard to say
"You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses,"
So the pig got up and slowly walked away!


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