A foolish person is called an ass. ‘What an ass he is!’ we say. The ass stands for utter lack of sense. It is a useful animal, and carries heavy loads. It is not very costly either. People in Punjab do not value this beast of burden. Of all animals, it is most badly fed, and most cruelly treated, and perhaps because in spite of all this ingratitude on the part of man, the poor animals goes on serving him, it is called “stupid.”
In Egypt, the ass is well-kept and well-fed, and therefore, it is a fine animal to ride on. Here in Punjab, it is a funny sight to see a man riding on an ass, his legs almost touching the ground.
The braying of an ass makes an ear-splitting noise, harsh and loud, and very annoying, At times, when it is excited, it kicks, and sometimes kicks with great effect.
The story is told of an ass who felt greatly jealous of a dog, upon whom the master lavished his affections. The ass began to study the situation intelligently and came to the conclusion that the dog waved its tail. lifted its fore-feet, and jumped into the lap of the master every time he came before it. That was why the master was. pleased with it and loved it so much. It did no such thing, and so was not liked. It resolved thenceforth to imitate the dog, and win the affection of its master. One day, when the master was sitting in his chair, weary with the day’s work, the ass came forward, braying and waving its tail, and lifting its fore-feet, it fell upon the master. The master cried out in confusion. The servants came, and gave the ass a sound heating for its folly. Who will, after this, doubt the intelligence of the ass?