Asses complained to Jupiter about being overworked. As a joke, Jupiter told them to piss in a river to lighten their load. To today when one pisses all do.
Tis madness and folly to appeal to providence and nature.
L’Estrange version (Asses to Jupiter)
The asses found themselves once so intolerably oppressed, with cruel masters, and heavy burdens, that they sent their ambassadors to Jupiter with a petition for redress. Jupiter found the request unreasonable, and so gave them this answer: That humane society could not be preserv’d without carrying burdens some way or other: so that if they would but joyn, and piss up a river, that the burdens which they now carry’d by land might be carried by water, they should be eas’d of that grievance. This set them all a pissing immediately, and the humour is kept up to this very day, that whenever one ass pisses, the rest piss for company.
‘Tis the uttermost degree of madness and folly, to appeal from providence and nature.
Gherardo Image from 1480
Iuppiter et Asini
Dolentes olim asini quod continuo onera ferrent atque in aerumnis vitam traherent, legatos ad Iovem misere, solamen aliquod laborum petentes. Quod cum Iuppiter fieri non posse ostendere vellet, tunc eos, inquit, a laboribus vacuos fore cum mingendo fluvium fecerint. Illi, id verum eum dicere rati, iam tempore ab illo, ubi suam aut aliorum urinam vident, ipsi quoque mingere solent.