Saturday, January 12, 2013



This is the story of old John the miller, his
son and their donkey. John the miller
lived with his family in a cottage near a
In winter, life was difficult for the miller
and his family. He couldn't work very much,
so he didn't have much money. And his fam-
ily were cold and hungry.
When spring finally came, the family was
happier. However, the miller had no money to
buy food for his family. And they were still
One day, the family sat down for lunch.
"What's for lunch, Mum?" asked the miller's
son, Jack.
"It's potato soup again," replied his moth-
Isn't there anything else to eat?"
"No, there isn't. I'm sorry," she said. And
they ate lunch in silence.
Later that day, the miller and his wife sat
and talked. "We don't have any food," said
the miller' wife. "What are we going to do?"
"I'll sell the donkey," said the miller. "Then
we'll have enough money to buy some food."
"That's a good idea," said the miller's wife.
"I'll take it to the market and sell it," said
the miller.
Old John decided to take the donkey to
the market the next day. So, he and his son,
Jack, got up early the next morning and
began to walk to the town with the donkey.
"It's a lovely day for a walk," the miller
said to his son.
"Yes, Father, it is".
The old miller and his son were happy.
"This afternoon, we'll have enough
money to buy some food," said
the miller.
"Can we buy some fruit at the
market? Asked Jack.
"Yes, of course," his father
The miller and his son walked
along happily. Soon, they met
three girls. When the three girls
saw the old miller and his son,
they began to laugh and whisper
to each other. 
"Look at those two!" they are
walking with their donkey. How
silly!" they whispered.
"What's the matter? Why are

you laughing? Asked the miller.
"Because it's a hot day and you're walking
with your donkey. Why don't you ride it?"
Old John thought about it for a moment
and then said, "You're right. It's stupid. Get
on the donkey, Jack."
So Jack got on the donkey, and then they
continued on their journey.
A little later, a group of men walked
towards them. "Young people today have no
respect for old people," said one of the men.
"You are right," said another.
"That's not true," said a third. Then, the
men saw Jack, the miller and the donkey.
They stopped talking and looked at Jack sit-
ting on the donkey.
"Look at him," said one of the men. "I told
you, didn't I? Young people have no respect
for old people these days. That young boy is
sitting comfortably on the donkey and the old
man is walking."
"Yes, "said another. "Young people are
very selfish these days." Then, he said to
Jack, "Get down from that donkey and let
your poor old father ride it. He must be very
Old John looked at Jack. "Perhaps they're
right," he said. "Let me ride the donkey for a
So Jack got off the donkey and his father
got on it. Then, they continued on their jour-
A little further along the road, they met a
group of women. One of the women stopped
and stood in the middle of the road, "You lazy
old man," she cried. "You're sitting comfort-
ably on the donkey and that poor boy is
walking. Look at him! He's tired. He can't
walk as fast as the donkey."
"She's right, look at the poor boy," said

The kind old miller was upset. He did not
want people to think that he was selfish. So,
he said to his son, "Jack, sit behind me. We
will both ride the donkey."
So Jack got on the donkey and they con-
tinued on their journey to the market.
The donkey walked very slowly towards
the town. It was midday and they were near-
ly there. The miller was pleased. "The mar-
ket is very busy at lunch time. We'll sell the
donkey for a god price," he said.
Then, they met a shepherd with his sheep.
"Excuse me," said the shepherd. "Is that
your donkey?"
"Yes, it is," said the miller.
"It can't be yours, "said the shepherd.
"Why?" asked the miller.
"Because you're being very cruel to the
poor animal. Do you want to kill it?
"What do you mean? Asked the miller.
"It's a very hot day and you're too heavy
for the donkey," the shepherd replied. "The
poor animal is very tired."
The old miller was very upset. He did not
want people to think that he was cruel to the
donkey. The miller looked at his donkey. It
looked very tired and hot. Oh dear, he
thought. I can't sell the donkey if it isn't
healthy. We must carry it.
"Very well," said the miller. "We will carry
the donkey." So the miller and his son got off
the donkey and said goodbye to the shep-
herd. And the shepherd continued on his
Old John tied donkey's legs together.
Then, he tied the donkey's legs to a pole. The
miller and his son lifted the pole onto their
shoulders and carried the donkey to the
town. The donkey was very heavy and it was
not an easy journey.
Finally, the miller and his son arrived at
the town. It was busy and the streets were
full of people. Everybody came to the town
on market day. The miller and his son walked
through the streets, carrying the donkey.
They were very hot and tired but they didn't
stop for a rest. They wanted to get to the
market square as quickly as possible.
Suddenly, somebody shouted, "Look!
There are two people carrying a donkey."
Everybody ran to see this strange sight
and people began to laugh at the miller and
his son. Slowly, they carried the donkey
through the streets of the town towards the
market square. Everybody watched them
and clapped loudly.
Soon, they came to a bridge. They had to
walk across the bridge to the market square.
A crowd of people followed them onto the
bridge. They laughed and shouted. "Be care-
ful. Don't drop the donkey."
The donkey was very frightened. It didn't
like the noise and it didn't like the crowd of
people. The donkey started to kick. It kicked
so hard that it fell off the pole. 
Everybody stopped laughing. "Look!" they
shouted. "The donkey is going to fall in the
The donkey fell in the river and the old
miller was very upset. "Come on, Jack. Let's
go home. We don't have anything to sell here
now," he said.
So the old miller and his son, Jack walked
slowly home. I was very stupid today,
thought the miller. Now, I have no donkey
and no money from the sale. And he was
very angry with himself.
I was very stupid today. "I tried to please
everyone," the miller said to his son. "And if
you try to please everyone, you don't please
anyone at all."

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