An English farmer had three fine horses and a donkey on his farm. These animals were often put to graze together in the same field. Now it generally happens that horses do not like to have a donkey near them, and they will show their dislike by kicking him and trying to drive him away.
But it was not so with those English horses. They treated the donkey kindly, and let him share with them the best grass to be found in the field. The donkey seemed to feel their kindness to him, and he showed his gratitude to them for it in the following
One day the donkey was put by himself into a field which had a remarkable growth of the very finest grass, and he was enjoying it greatly. His three friends, the horses, were in an adjoining field, where the grass was very poor and scanty.
There was a high, thick hedge of hawthorn-bushes separating those two fields. The horses came and looked over the hedge to see their friend, the donkey, having such a good time enjoying that green grass. He knew from the way they looked at him that they wanted to come into his field and share the pleasure which he felt in eating that excellent grass. Then the donkey went to a gate near by, which led into the field where he was grazing. That gate was fastened by a round piece of wood, which was put through an iron staple in the post of the gate. He had often seen his master unfasten that gate by pulling out that piece of wood. So he took hold of it with his teeth, and tried to pull it out. It was very tight, and he had to keep on trying for a good while; but finally he got it out. Then the gate swung wide open, and the horses came in, leaping about joyfully, as if to thank their donkey friend for his kindness in letting them in.
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