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A Friar Ninneas Fable



THE JACKASS & THE THISTLE A fable from the soon-to-be-published Heretical and Curiously Inappropriate Tales of Friar Ninneas, translated from the Latin by D.W. Haskell

Long kept hidden from the eyes of the world, the literary oeuvre of Friar Ninneas recently came to light when an ancient and abandoned abbey was demolished to make way for a Frickin’ Chicken fast food franchise. Concealed in the abbot’s personal outbuilding were wads of crumbling, yellowed parchment covered with Latin passages written in a crimped, shaky, calligraphic hand. The faded black ink was frequently overwritten in large, angry, red letters with inscriptions such as “Blasphemy,” “To Be Burned,” “Heretical” and “Curiously Inappropriate.” Upon expert examination of the find, it soon became evident that the abbot had used and discarded a great many of the pages during visits to the privy. Fortunately, a number of stories survived intact and unsoiled. The Jackass & the Thistle, a short, cautionary fable, is the first of Friar Ninneas’ works to be translated and made available to the public.

ne late summer morning,

a carefree jackass was happily trotting through a sun-drenched meadow when he was startled to hear a wee, prickly voice calling his name.

He soon discovered that the voice came from a little thistle on the edge of the meadow path. The jackass ambled right up to it and bent his long ears close to its purple head, and here is what the thistle said:

“Heedless jackass, how can you trot along in such a happy, carefree manner when autumn is closing in and the bright, warm sunshine will shortly give way to cold, gray gloom and we wildflowers will all perish and the sooty factories of the nearby town will pollute the air and water and cause the world to overheat and turn our lovely meadow into a parched, lifeless desert and even if all this does not come to pass, the entire Earth is liable to be destroyed by an asteroid at any moment?�

The jackass’s long ears drooped. He suddenly felt sad from the tip of his nose to his bushy broomtail. “You have a point there, little thistle,” the jackass admitted.

But the thistle could not hear his reply, because it was no longer there to hear it; and besides, the jackass was talking with his mouth full.

Moral: Don’t spread misery or you will be devoured by a manic-depressive jackass with bad table manners.

The Jackass & the Thistle  

A very short, cautionary fable from the soon-to-be-published "Heretical and Curiously Inappropriate Tales of Friar Ninneas," translated from...

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