The Ass and his Purchaser
A man who wanted to buy an Ass went to market, and, coming across a likely-looking beast, arranged with the owner that he should be allowed to take him home on trial to see what he was like. When he reached home, he put him into his stable along with the other asses. The newcomer took a look round, and immediately went and chose a place next to the laziest and greediest beast in the stable. When the master saw this he put a halter on him at once, and led him off and handed him over to his owner again. The latter was a good deal surprised to seem him back so soon, and said, "Why, do you mean to say you have tested him already?" "I don't want to put him through any more tests," replied the other. "I could see what sort of beast he is from the companion he chose for himself."
A man is known by the company he keeps.
Key Vocabulary Words and Phrases
ass - like a donkey
to come across - find by chance
to take home on trial - not purchase, but try to see if something works
stable - place where horses, donkeys, asses, etc. live
newcomer - someone who is new to a group
greedy - desire to have everything
halter - equipment put onto a horse, donkey, ass, etc. to make movement easier
companion - friend
A man is known by the company he keeps. - Your friends reflect your own likes and dislikes, capabilities, etc.
Questions / Discussion
- How did the man decide to keep or not keep the Ass?
- Why did the man decide to not keep the Ass?
- Vocabulary Building - Make a list of words related to these categories presented in the fable:
- markets - exchanging goods or services
- animals - stables
- Do you have any stories / fables in your culture that has a similar message? If so, try to tell the story or fable in English.
- Tell a story of when you chose not to be friends with someone. Explain why.
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