The Horse and the Loaded Ass

A man who kept a horse and an ass was wont in his journeys to spare the horse and put the entire burden upon the ass' back. The ass, who had been ailing for some time, besought the horse one day to relieve him of part of his load. "For if," said he, "you would take a fair portion, I shall soon get well again; but if you refuse to help me, this weight will kill me."

The horse, however, bade the ass get on and not trouble him with his complaints. The ass jogged on in silence, but presently, overcome with the weight of his burden, dropped down dead, as he had foretold. Upon this, the master unloosed the load from the dead ass and, putting it upon the horse's back, made him carry the ass' carcass in addition.

"Alas, for my ill nature!" said the horse. "By refusing to bear my just portion of the load, I have now to carry the whole of it, with a dead weight in the bargain."

A disobliging temper carries its own punishment.