The Old Man and The Ass An Old Man and his Ass were riding one day And spied a lush meadow at the side of the way. The man let go the reins and the grizzled* one raced Out into the lea at a furious pace. Gamboling, scratching, enjoying the green, Rubbing his back and eating the spot clean. Some robbers showed up while the field he cleared. "Come, let us flee!" said the frightened graybeard. "Why should I" responded the debauchee. "Will you not make me carry a double load?" "Not at all!" said the man as he fled down the road. "What difference to me who uses the goad. Save yourself. I'll graze. You'll run faster. A beasts enemy is always its master. And this I say to you in a very Frank* manner. * Grizzled in the original is Grison, Frank is Francois. This is, I think, a play on words. Grison is a Canton in Switzerland which was originally created by the Franks during the reign of Charlemagne (800s A.D.), Apparently there was still some tension between the two groups (at least in folklore) some centuries later. ============================================== Le Vieillard et l'Ane Un Vieillard sur son Ane aperçut en passant Un Pré plein d'herbe et fleurissant. Il y lâche sa bête, et le Grison se rue Au travers de l'herbe menue, Se vautrant, grattant, et frottant, Gambadant, chantant et broutant, Et faisant mainte place nette. L'ennemi vient sur l'entrefaite : Fuyons, dit alors le Vieillard. - Pourquoi ? répondit le paillard. Me fera-t-on porter double bât, double charge ? - Non pas, dit le Vieillard, qui prit d'abord le large. - Et que m'importe donc, dit l'Ane, à qui je sois ? Sauvez-vous, et me laissez paître : Notre ennemi, c'est notre Maître : Je vous le dis en bon François.
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