One day, a young boy, an old man, and a donkey were traveling along the road together. The young boy rode the donkey while the old man walked beside him, and as they passed through a village, they heard people talking amongst each other, “Oh how terrible that the young boy is making that old man walk while he rides the donkey.” After passing the village and hearing this from so many people, the young boy and the old man decide to switch places. As they walk to the next village, the old man is riding the donkey and the young boy is walking alongside. When they arrive at the next village, they hear the people talking again, “Can you believe that old man is making such a young boy walk while he rides the donkey?” After passing the village and hearing this enough, they decide they will both walk alongside the donkey. They come to another village and hear more chatter, “What fools! Those two have a perfectly good donkey and they are just walking alongside it.” After leaving that village, they decide to both ride the donkey. At the next village, they hear people complaining, “That poor donkey! How can those two force it to carry both their weight?” So, they decide to get off and between the two of them carry the donkey the rest of the way. They come to a river and start to cross a bridge. Before they know it, they lose control, the donkey falls in the water and drowns.
The moral of the story: If you try to please everyone, you will surely lose your ass.
Thank you to Scott for introducing me to this fable from Aesop.
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