Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Donkey and the Drums

The Donkey and the Drums. A merchant was hurrying along the road to market with his donkey. He was fiercely beating the laden donkey with a whip and a cudgel so that he could arrive all the faster and make a bigger profit. The donkey was hoping that after death he would be free of his troubles. He was beaten to death by that merchange who, afterwards, made the donkey's skin into drums which were constantly being pounded on, so the donkey who thought that after death he would be without worries continued to be beaten.

Asinus et Tympana. Negotiator in via cum Asello festinabat nundinas. Onusto Asino male flagello et fuste caedebat, ut citius posset venire lucri causa. Asellus sperabat ut post mortem esset securus; quassatus, moritur. De pelle eius facta sunt tympana, quae semper battuntur, et qui putabat post mortem esse securus, post mortem caeditur.

Notes. This is Ademar 47, which is Perry 164 in Perry's classification scheme. In the classical version of this story, the owner of the donkey is one of the priests of Cybele, famous for their exuberant music; as you can see, in this medieval version, the priest of Cybele has become a greedy merchant.

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