The Ass Eating Thistles

An Ass carrying goods to the field stopped and ate a Thistle. While most would question this, the Thistle is a favorite of the Ass.

People enjoy what they enjoy.

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

An Ass laden with very choice provisions, which he was carrying in harvest-time to the field, for the entertainment of his master and the reapers, stopped by the way to eat a large and strong Thistle that grew by the roadside.” Many people would wonder,” said he, “that with such delicate viands within reach, I do not touch them; but to me this bitter and prickly Thistle is more savoury and relishing than anything else in the world.”

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall

Croxall - Ass Eating ThistlesAN Ass was loaded with good provisions of several sorts, which, in time of harvest, he was carrying into the field for his master, and the reapers, to dine upon. By the way, he met with a fine large thistle, and being very hungry, began to mumble it; which, while he was doing, he entered into this reflection; How many greedy epicures would think themselves happy, amidst such a variety of delicate viands as I now carry! but to me, this hitter, prickly thistle is more savoury and relishing, than the most exquisite and sumptuous banquet.

THE APPLICATION

Whittingham - Ass Eating Thistles

C. Whittingham (1814)

Happiness and misery, and oftentimes pleasure and pain, exist merely in our opinion, and are no more to be accounted for, than the difference of tastes. That which is one man’s meat is another man’s poison, is a proposition that ought to be allowed in all particulars, where the opinion is concerned, as well as in eating and drinking. Our senses must inform us whether a thing pleases or displeases, before we can declare our judgment of it; and that is to any man good or evil, which his own understanding suggests to him to be so; and not that which is agreeable to another’s fancy. And yet as reasonable and as necessary as it is to grant this, how apt are we to wonder at people for not liking this or that, or how can they think so and so! This childish humour of wondering at the different tastes and opinions of others, occasions much uneasiness among the generality of mankind. But if we considered things rightly, why should we be more concerned at others differing from us in their way of thinking upon any subject whatever, than at their liking cheese or mustard; one, or both of which, we may happen to dislike? In truth, he that expects all mankind should be of this opinion, is much more stupid and unreasonable than the Ass in the fable.