Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Horse Chained to the Millstone

The Horse Chained to the Millstone. Once upon a time there was an old horse who was sold to the miller and made to grind wheat. Chained to the millstone all night long and sighing all the while, the wretched horse said, "After running in races, now I am condemned to going round about on account of this flour." Moral. Do not boast too much with the high spirits of youthful strength; for many, old age is consumed by work.

Equus Molae Iugatus. Equus senior fuit quondam molendae farinae venumdatus. Molae iugatus vesperam misellus totam atque ideo suspirans, "Cursibus" inquit "ex qualibus quales in gyros propter farinulas compellor." Morale. Ne superbias nimium prae iuvenilis vigoris ferocia; multis senectus inter labores consumpta fuit.

Notes. This is Babrius 29, which is Perry 318 in Perry's classification scheme. The charm of this fable is in the way the horse compares his turning the millstone round and round to the way that he used to run around the racetrack. The sad observations about an old life full of labor could certainly turn out to be true for those of us who see our retirement age forever receding into the distance as the world economy unravels...

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