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THE OLD MAN AND THE ASS. Jean de La Fontaine

An Old Man, riding on a Donkey, saw
A meadow thick with flowers, and full of grass.
He instantly unbridled the poor Ass,
And let him roam for twenty minutes′ law.
It scratch′d, and scratch′d, and munch′d, and chew′d, and bray′d
Nipping the best, and kicking, for sheer fun:
The meal refreshing was betimes begun.
Just then the enemy came, all arrayed:
"Fly," said the Old Man. "Wherefore?" said the beast;
"Am I to carry double burden—double load?
Am I to tramp once more upon the road?"
"No," said the Old Man; "I′ll stop here, at least."
"To whom I may belong is no great matter.
Go, save yourself from an unlucky blow;
My master is my enemy, I know:
I tell you in the best French I can patter."

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