The Ass Carrying Salt

A certain huckster who kept an ass, hearing that salt was to be had cheap at the seaside, drove his ass there to buy some. Having loaded the beast as much as he could bear, he was driving him home, when, as they were passing a slippery ledge of rock, the ass fell into the stream below. The salt melted and the ass was relieved of his burden. Having gained the bank with ease, the ass pursued his journey onward, light in body and in spirit.

The huckster soon afterwards set off for the seashore for some more salt. He loaded the ass, if possible, more heavily than before. On their return, as they crossed the stream into which he had formerly fallen, the ass fell down on purpose and, by dissolving the salt, was again released from his load.

The master, provoked at the loss, and thinking how he might cure him of this trick, on his next journey to the coast freighted the beast with a load of sponges. When they arrived at the same stream as before, the ass was at his old tricks again and rolled himself into the water. He found to his cost that the sponges, becoming thoroughly wet, instead of lightening his burden, he had more than doubled its weight.

The same measures will not suit all circumstances and we may play the same trick once too often.