The Penalty

Once a merchant started on a long journey with his goods loaded on a horse and a donkey. The donkey was overloaded, and it felt tough even to take a single step after a time.

“Brother,” said the donkey to the horse at this rate. I can’t walk much farther. Kindly relieve me of some of my load.”

The horse would not agree to this. “Why should I carry your load? If you carry too much, it’s just your bad luck,” the horse replied coldly.

After a time, the donkey was done for. It collapsed on the way and died of strain. The trader got the donkey skinned then and there. He transferred the entire load to the horse and, on top of it, the donkey’s skin.

Now it was the horse’s turn to carry on an unbearable load. “What a fool I was!” the horse thought to himself. “If only I relieved the donkey of a little of its load when it requested me, I would not be carrying the entire load now, not to speak of the donkey’s skin. I’ve let the donkey die, and now it will be my turn to die.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *