An Ass, An Ape, and A Mole

An Ass and an Ape were complaining about what they did not have. A Mole pointed out that their complaint was minor compared with his lack of sight.

Be thankful for what nature has given you.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

An Ass and an Ape were one day grumbling together over their respective grievances. “My ears are so long that people laugh at me,” said the Ass; “I wish I had horns like the Ox.” “And I,” said the Ape, “am really ashamed to turn my back upon any one. Why should not I have a fine bushy tail as well as that saucy fellow the Fox?” “Hold your tongues, both of you,” said a Mole that overheard them, “and be thankful for what you have. The poor Moles have no horns at all, and no tail to speak of, and are nearly blind as welL”

L'Estrange VersionL’Estrange version

An asse and an ape were conferring grievances. The asse complain’d mightily for want of horns, and the ape was as much troubled for want of a tail. Hold your tongues both of ye, says the mole, and be thankful for what you have, for the poor moles are stark blind, and in a worse condition than either of ye.


There’s no contending with the orders and decrees of Providence. He that made us knows what’s fittest for us; and every man’s own lot (well understood and manag’d) is undoubtedly the best.