The Ass and The Old Shepherd

An Ass carrying baskets was told to flee with the Shepherd. The Ass asked if the enemy would put another pair of baskets on him and, if not, why flee.

In a change of government the poor change nothing beyond the name of their master.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Sensible Ass)

Sensible AssAn Old Fellow, in time of war, was allowing his Ass to feed in a green meadow, when he was alarmed by a sudden advance of the enemy. He tried every means in his power to urge the Ass to fly, but in vain.” The enemy are upon us,” said he. “And what will the enemy do?” asked the Ass. “Will they put two pairs of panniers on my back, instead of one?” “No,” answered the Man, “there is no fear of that.” “Why then,” replied the Ass, “I’ll not stir an inch. I am born to be a slave, and my greatest enemy is he who gives me most to carry.”

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A shepherd, watching his Ass feeding in a meadow, was alarmed all of a sudden by the cries of the enemy. He appealed to the Ass to fly with him, lest they should both be captured, but the animal lazily replied, “Why should I, pray? Do you think it likely the conqueror will place on me two sets of panniers?’ “No,” rejoined the Shepherd. “Then,” said the Ass, “as long as I carry the panniers, what matters it to me whom I serve?’

Moral

In a change of government the poor change nothing beyond the name of their master.