~ 23. The Donkey and the Icon ~



There was a great religious procession, and a donkey was carrying a holy icon on the way to the church.
When the people saw the icon, they all fell to their knees in devotion.
"Behold!" the foolish donkey thought to himself. "The people are all falling to their knees and worshiping me… ME!"
As the donkey hee-hawed happily, the donkey-driver cracked his whip and laughed. "You are nothing more than a donkey. You were a donkey before I put the icon on your back, and you're still a donkey now," he said. "They're worshiping the icon; they're not worshiping you!"

Inspired by: Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists by Roger L'Estrange, 487.
Notes: This is Perry 182.

Here is an illustration by Billinghurst:

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