Their donkey in between them.
“How foolish that the boy should walk!”
Said several who had seen them.
And so at once the father bade,
“Get up upon the donkey, lad!”
Then Came some rustics, loud with jeers
As self-appointed judges.
“Look at the lazy slacker ride
While his poor parent trudges!”
Taking these stray remarks for truth,
The old man climbed beside the youth.
And now some watchers cried, “Poor beast,
Whom his hard masters harry!
Surely the creature’s back will break,
With such a load to carry!”
“Let us dismount,” decreed the man,
“And none will mock our latest plan!”
They roped the beast, and bore it off
Raise in the mesh that bound it,
Until it struggled, slipped and fell
Into a stream that drowned it.
Thus he who tries to humor all
Is headed for a certain fall.