The Ass and His Driver

An Ass being driven on a road veered toward a cliff. The Driver tried to stop the Ass but could not and had to let the Ass drop. Too bad for the Ass.

You can’t always stop a fool.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

Ass and Driver

Milo Winter (1919)

An Ass was being driven along a road leading down the mountain side, when he suddenly took it into his silly head to choose his own path. He could see his stall at the foot of the mountain, and to him the quickest way down seemed to be over the edge of the nearest cliff. Just as he was about to leap over, his master caught him by the tail and tried to pull him back, but the stubborn Ass would not yield and pulled with all his might.

“Very well,” said his master, “go your way, you willful beast, and see where it leads you.”

With that he let go, and the foolish Ass tumbled head over heels down the mountain side.


They who will not listen to reason but stubbornly go their own way against the friendly advice of those who are wiser than they, are on the road to misfortune.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

An ass, being driven along a high road, suddenly started off and bolted to the brink of a deep precipice. While he was in the act of throwing himself over, his owner seized him by the tail, endeavoring to pull him back. When the Ass persisted in his effort, the man let him go and said, “Conquer, but conquer to your cost.”

1001Asinus et Agaso

Asinus dum ab agasone ageretur, a via paulum digressus, relicta planitie, praerupta in loca ferebatur. At cum denique in praeceps rueret, agaso cauda arreptum conabatur in viam reducere. Sed cum asinum a lapsu retinere non posset, eum omnino dimisit et “Vince utique,” ait, “infaustam enim victoriam reportas.”

Perry #186