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Fable Aesop
The Salt Merchant And His Ass
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A Peddler drove his Ass to the seashore to buy salt. His road
home lay across a stream into which his Ass, making a false step,
fell by accident and rose up again with his load considerably
lighter, as the water melted the sack. The Peddler retraced his
steps and refilled his panniers with a larger quantity of salt than
before. When he came again to the stream, the Ass fell down
on purpose in the same spot, and, regaining his feet with the
weight of his load much diminished, brayed triumphantly as if
he had obtained what he desired. The Peddler saw through his
trick and drove him for the third time to the coast, where he
bought a cargo of sponges instead of salt. The Ass, again playing
the fool, fell down on purpose when he reached the stream, but
the sponges became swollen with water, greatly increasing his
load. And thus his trick recoiled on him, for he now carried on his
back a double burden.

(Translated by George Fyler Townsend, 1814-1900)
 

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