Of salt-cakes from the sea.
He piled them on his donkey’s back –
As many as could be.
The laden beast once reached a stream,
Staggered and stumbled in.
Now was it true, or did he dream
The salt dissolved -grew thin?
His burden lightened, he had learned
A trick worth any five.
Seeing another stream, he turned
And made a splashing dive.
The salt now served the peddler ill;
So after several plunges,
He hastened, for a change, to fill
His bags with nought but sponges.
When next the scheming donkey threw
His pack where currents flowed,
The sponges, taking water, grew
Into a leaden load.
In craft and guile he found that two
Can take the selfsame road.