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The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass

A MILLER and his son were driving their Ass to a neighboring fair to sell him.

They had not gone far when they met with a troop of women collected round a well, talking and laughing. “Look there,” cried one of them, “did you ever see such fellows, to be trudging along the road on foot when they might ride?’ The old man hearing this, quickly made his son mount the Ass, and continued to walk along merrily by his side.

Presently they came up to a group of old men in earnest debate. “There,” said one of them, “it proves what I was a-saying. What respect is shown to old age in these days? Do you see that idle lad riding while his old father has to walk? Get down, you young scapegrace, and let the old man rest his weary limbs.” Upon this the old man made his son dismount, and got up himself.

In this manner they had not proceeded far when they met a company of women and children: “Why, you lazy old fellow,” cried several tongues at once, “how can you ride upon the beast, while that poor little lad there can hardly keep pace by the side of you?’ The good-natured Miller immediately took up his son behind him.

They had now almost reached the town. “Pray, honest friend,” said a citizen, “is that Ass your own?’ “Yes,” replied the old man. “O, one would not have thought so,” said the other, “by the way you load him. Why, you two fellows are better able to carry the poor beast than he you.” “Anything to please you,” said the old man; “we can but try.”

So, alighting with his son, they tied the legs of the Ass together and with the help of a pole endeavored to carry him on their shoulders over a bridge near the entrance to the town. This entertaining sight brought the people in crowds to laugh at it, till the Ass, not liking the noise nor the strange handling that he was subject to, broke the cords that bound him and, tumbling off the pole, fell into the river.

Upon this, the old man, vexed and ashamed, made the best of his way home again, convinced that by endeavoring to please everybody he had pleased nobody, and lost his Ass in the bargain.

Moral: Try to please all and you will please none.

When you know your own voice and use it, you will put people off even if that is truly not your intent.

You must choose. Do you prefer to speak your truth or to make lots of friends?

Hint: speaking your truth will garner you like-minded friends. These are diamonds and absolutely the best kind 🙂

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SBW = Strong Black Woman

The Mischievous Dog by Aesop

A Dog used to run up quietly to the heels of everyone he met and to bite them without notice. His master suspended a bell about his neck so that the Dog might give notice of his presence wherever he went. Thinking it a mark of distinction, the Dog grew proud of his bell and went tinkling it all over the marketplace. One day an old hound said to him: “Why do you make such an exhibition of yourself? That bell that you carry is not, believe me, any order of merit, but on the contrary a mark of disgrace, a public notice to all men to avoid you as an ill-mannered dog.”

Those who achieve notoriety often mistake it for fame.

The Best of Us

Shortcuts to femininity result in the equivalent of lipstick on a pig.

You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time. – Abraham Lincoln


The Ass and His Purchaser

A Man wished to purchase an Ass, and agreed with its owner that he should try out the animal before he bought him. He took the Ass home and put him in the straw-yard with his other Asses, upon which the new animal left all the others and at once joined the one that was most idle and the greatest eater of them all. Seeing this, the man put a halter on him and led him back to his owner. On being asked how, in so short a time, he could have made a trial of him, he answered, “I do not need a trial; I know that he will be just the same as the one he chose for his companion.”

Moral:  A man is known by the company he keeps.

Set yourself apart

The Ants and the Grasshopper

The ants were spending a fine winter’s day drying grain collected in the summertime. A Grasshopper, perishing with famine, passed by and earnestly begged for a little food. The Ants inquired of him, “Why did you not treasure up food during the summer?’ He replied, “I had not leisure enough. I passed the days in singing.” They then said in derision: “If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supperless to bed in the winter.”

Moral: Prepare for want before it comes

Get a handle on your money

The Fox and the Goat

A Fox one day fell into a deep well and could find no means of escape. A Goat, overcome with thirst, came to the same well, and seeing the Fox, inquired if the water was good. Concealing his sad plight under a merry guise, the Fox indulged in a lavish praise of the water, saying it was excellent beyond measure, and encouraging him to descend. The Goat, mindful only of his thirst, thoughtlessly jumped down, but just as he drank, the Fox informed him of the difficulty they were both in and suggested a scheme for their common escape. “If,” said he, “you will place your forefeet upon the wall and bend your head, I will run up your back and escape, and will help you out afterwards.” The Goat readily assented and the Fox leaped upon his back. Steadying himself with the Goat’s horns, he safely reached the mouth of the well and made off as fast as he could. When the Goat upbraided him for breaking his promise, he turned around and cried out, “You foolish old fellow! If you had as many brains in your head as you have hairs in your beard, you would never have gone down before you had inspected the way up, nor have exposed yourself to dangers from which you had no means of escape.

Moral: Look before you leap.

Be mindful

Failures in either of these areas is a sign that something is amiss. Men actually do pay attention to more than the physical.

The genuine article will always be the most highly valued. Even if an imitation is good, when the real thing comes along, it is recognized and pursued.

The fake is simply abandoned.

The Cicada and the Ants

from The Complete Fables by Aesop

It was winter. Their grain was damp and the ants were drying it. A cicada, who was hungry, asked them for something to eat. The ants replied:

“Why didn’t you too store up some provisions during the summer?’

‘I didn’t have the time for that,’ replied the cicada. ‘I was singing melodiously.’

The ants made fun of her.

‘Ah well,’ they said, ‘since you sang in summer you can dance in winter.’

In the original story, the moral is that there is a time for work and a time for play. Newer versions, as in the Disney short, allow for play time anytime and the dependence on others for survival.

Nothing remains the same. Seasons change. Lay-offs happen. Economies take a down turn. Hurricanes and earthquakes occur.

Store extra food and water, eliminate debt, save money, and maintain optimal health. These are the basics. Consider different scenarios and plan ahead.

Always have, at the very least, a Plan B.

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