Control Of the Ass

Did you ever buy any of those Barnes and Noble Classics? Decent quality, inexpensive paperbacks of classic books. I bought “Anna Karenina,” I believe, in that form, new, (for only $8.95!) but have several  others I’ve found at rummage sales and such. Including a $3 Aesop’s Fables that I found at a used book store. Most books at those places are usually at least 7 bucks these days, so, since I’d never read all the fables, I thought, “Why not?” My favorite is #51, The Ass and His Shadow:”

A certain man hired an ass for a journey in summertime, and started out with the owner following behind to drive the beast. By and by, in the heat of the day, they stopped to rest, and the traveler wanted to lie down in the ass’s shadow. But the owner. who himself wished to be out of the sun, wouldn’t let him do that; for he said he had hired the ass only, and not his shadow. The other maintained that his bargain secured him complete control of the ass for the time being. From words they came to blows. And while they were belaboring each other the ass took to his heels and was soon out of sight.

Some days nothing pleases me, and some days just simply reading the words: “complete control of the ass for the time being” makes me laugh MY ass off. Really, who ever does have complete control of the ass?

The moral of the story is: Hire a big enough ass so that there’s shadow enough for two guys. But then, that would have been a whole different fable.

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