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Aesop's Fables by  J. H. Stickney


 

 

THE HORSE AND HIS RIDER

[80]

A
CALVARY officer took the greatest of pains with his charger. As long as the war lasted, the Horse was looked upon as a companion and fellow helper. He was carefully groomed every day, and fed with hay and oats.

But when the war was over, the allowance of grain and hay ceased, and the Horse was fed with chaff and whatever he might find by the wayside. He was made a drudge too, and was often forced to carry loads much too heavy for his strength.

When, in course of time, war was again proclaimed, the soldier brought his military trappings and put them on his charger; and, after having arrayed his own person with his heavy [81] coat of mail, he mounted to ride to battle.

But the Horse, no longer equal to the burden, fell down straightway under the weight.

"You must go to the war on foot," he said to his master, "for you have transformed me from a horse into an ass."

He who slights his friends when he does not need their best offices must not expect them to serve him when he needs them again.


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