On the way to market one day to sell their donkey, the father at first let his young son sit on the animal while he walked alongside and, sure enough, within minutes they had attracted the attention of a bunch of aged men.
"Kids have no respect for their elders any longer," said one of them. "Imagine letting the old father walk while he rides comfortably."
So the father told the kid to get down while he sat on the animal. But now they came across a group of young women, one of whom snickered, "Look at that guy happily riding his ass while making the young son trudge along beside him."
This made the father pull the kid up next to him and then both rode the donkey till they heard someone in another little crowd of people say, "My God they're going to kill that poor animal riding double. Don't they care about God's dumb creatures?"
Now, father and son both got off and began walking with the beast till they heard laughter from a gathering of citizens who were all saying, "Boy talk about being dumb! They own a donkey and still walk." The duo finally ended up carrying the donkey tied and slung across on a pole, but, of course, that led other people to declare they'd gone completely mad.
"The moral of the story," said the father to his son when they returned home later that evening, "is that by trying to please everybody, one can please nobody." The son thought about this for a while before replying. "Perhaps Dad," he said, "but you can look at it another way too. Because the truth is that without knowing it some people like us also work awfully hard to make sure we please nobody."
Via Mukul Sharma for ET.
Labels: Short Stories