Two mules travelled regularly together with their loads, from their town to the city. The first mule, a humble beast, wore a tatty cloak, and carried sacks of oats for the miller. The second mule was an arrogant animal, who wore a fine coat with jingling bells. He carried gold and silver coins for the tax collector, and loved to brag about his responsibility and importance. Running late one day, the second mule suggested taking a short-cut, off the main road, despite his companion’s warnings about the risks of taking such a dangerous route. Sure enough, before too long, thieves attacked the second mule, stealing his valuable load, and leaving him injured by the roadside.
“But why me?” moaned the stricken animal, “I am attacked and robbed while the vagabonds leave you untouched?”
“I think even in this desperate place no thief would be interested in a poor miller’s slave, or my humble load!” said the first mule, “But you ventured down this dangerous track and made a show of yourself – you have only yourself to blame.”