How to be the talk of the village

In an old book is related the story of a father who was going with his son to the fair to sell a donkey. The father and his son were walking beside the donkey when they met some people who started to mock them saying: “Look how stupid they are, they are scuffing their footwear and feet for sparing the shoes of the donkey!”

Then the father mounted on the donkey and they continued their way. After a short time they met some other travelers and they scoffed them too: “What a heartless father is this man, he doesn’t have any mercy for his own son and lets him walk all this way down!”

The father dismounted and put his son on the donkey. They met some other travelers. When these people saw them they said: “Look at this child!” “How ill-mannered he is!” “His old father is walking beside him and he is riding the donkey.”

“What’s to be done with all these people?” the father said. They both mounted on the donkey hoping they would shut the mouth of the people in this way. But after they had made a few steps further they met some other men who said: “Look here, kind men!” “These two healthy and stout people ride a poor donkey.”

“Listen, son”, the father said. “We won’t ever bring this to an end with such people.” “Let’s try something else!”

They dismounted from the donkey, they took a wooden pole and tying the donkey by its feet, two by two, they lifted him on their backs and continued their way.

When they met other travelers, these started to laugh at them as if they had been mad. And the story says that the poor man got so exasperated that he threw the donkey in a precipice, in a river and they returned home without him, only for getting rid of all the talk of the village.

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