The Ass and the Lamb

by Ignacy Krasicki

“How hard is my fate!

What sorrows await,”

Said the Ass to the Sheep, “my deplorable state!

Cold, naked, ill-fed,

I sleep in a shed

And the snow, wind and rain come in over my head.

All this day did I pass

In a yard without grass —

What a pity that I was created an Ass!

As for Master, he sat

By the fire, with the Cat;

And they both looked as you do,

Contented and fat.

Your nice coat of wool.

So elastic and full,

Makes you much to be envied, — aye, more than the Bull!”

“How can you pretend,”

Said his poor bleating friend,

“To complain? Let me silence to you recommend.

My sorrows are deep,”

Continued the sheep,

And her eyes looked as if she were ready to weep.

“I expect — ’tis no fable, —

To be dragged from the stable.

And to-morrow, perhaps, be cut up for the table.

Now you, with docility

Strength and civility, —

Will live some years longer, in all probability.

So, no envy I beg.

For I’ll bet you an egg

You will carry the spinach to eat with my leg.”

The situation of those we envy is often much worse than our own.

(Translated from the Polish)

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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