Et tu, Aesop?
“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”
And a related fable:
The Man, the Boy and the Donkey
A man and his son were going with their donkey to market. As they were walking along beside the beast, a countryman passed by and said: “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?”
But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the man ordered his boy to get off and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”
The man didn’t know what to do but at last he took the boy up before him on the donkey.
By this time they had come to the town and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. He was told: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey with you and your hulking son?”
So the man and boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, until at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge.
The donkey got one of its feet loose and kicked out, causing the boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle, the donkey fell over the bridge. Because its forefeet were tied together, the donkey sankd and drowned.
“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them: “Please all, and you will please none.”
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