The Miller and the Donkey: A Tale about Thinking for Yourself
This is a favorite fable, and I am happy to see it included in this collection. Both text and illustration here are well done. The early story sets the miller up to look older than he is and to have his twelve-year-old son seem younger than he is. They go through several villages or at least gathering points. At the first, the women applaud when the miller responds to their criticism by lifting his boy onto the donkey. Their next encounter is occasioned by a discussion which a group of men is having is having on the street. Of course their discussion is about young folk's respect for elders! They look down on town and begin their descent when a man going in the other direction asks Is that your own donkey you're riding? He suggests that they ought to carry the poor creature. Crowds in town repeat a comment made in the first encounter: Makes me wonder which one is the master and which one is the donkey! In its biggest surprise, this version has the donkey break free of his ropes and knock the miller into the river. The artist actually has the donkey kick the miller into the water! The donkey quickly runs into the hills, not to be found again. From now on we will think for ourselves.
Reader's Digest Young Families