The Ass Carrying The Image

An Ass carrying a sacred Image through town thought all the bowing was for him instead of the Image. His Master set him straight with a well placed whip.

They are not wise who give to themselves the credit due to others.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection (The Ass Carrying an Idol)

Ass Carrying Idol

Ernest Griset (1874)

The master of an Ass was employed to take an Idol from the shop of the sculptor where it was made to the temple in which it was to be placed. For this purpose it was put on the back of the Ass, and carried through the principal streets of the city. Seeing that all the people, as he went along, bent themselves in lowly reverence, the animal fancied that it was to him that they were doing obeisance, and in consequence pricked up his ears, flourished his tail, and felt as proud as might be. The Idol once delivered, the man mounted his Ass and rode him home. The man was not at all pleased with the amount he had received for the job, and the poor brute, feeling the weight of his master’s cudgel, and finding that the people now took not the slightest notice as he passed, saw that it was to the Idol, and not to himself, that the homage had been paid.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

A sacred Image was being carried to the temple. It was mounted on an Ass adorned with garlands and gorgeous trappings, and a grand procession of priests and pages followed it through the streets. As the Ass walked along, the people bowed their heads reverently or fell on their knees, and the Ass thought the honor was being paid to himself.

With his head full of this foolish idea, he became so puffed up with pride and vanity that he halted and started to bray loudly. But in the midst of his song, his driver guessed what the Ass had got into his head, and began to beat him unmercifully with a stick.

“Go along with you, you stupid Ass,” he cried. “The honor is not meant for you but for the image you are carrying.”


Do not try to take the credit to yourself that is due to others.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

An ass once carried through the streets of a city a famous wooden Image, to be placed in one of its Temples. As he passed along, the crowd made lowly prostration before the Image. The Ass, thinking that they bowed their heads in token of respect for himself, bristled up with pride, gave himself airs, and refused to move another step. The driver, seeing him thus stop, laid his whip lustily about his shoulders and said, “O you perverse dull-head! it is not yet come to this, that men pay worship to an Ass.”


They are not wise who give to themselves the credit due to others.

1001Asinus Res Sacras Portans

Asinus quidam res sacras portabat, ratus sese venerari homines. Itaque erectus incedebat, tamquam sibi tus illud atque carmina acciperet. Cuius errorem cum mox vidit aliquis, “Mi asine,” inquit, “istam vanitatem tibi excute. Non te, sed istas res sacras caerimoniis colunt; isti divo haec religio debetur.”

Perry #182