A farmer and his son, who had fallen on hard times, were leading their donkey to market to sell him.
As they walked they passed someone who said, "Look at those two silly people walking when one of them could ride the donkey." So the farmer put his son on the donkey and they continued.
Soon, they passed someone else who said, "Look at that lazy boy riding, while his tired old father has to walk." So the farmer took his son off the donkey and got on and they continued.
Soon, they passed someone else who said, "Look at that mean old father riding a donkey while that poor little boy has to walk." So, the farmer lifted his son up onto the donkey with him and they continued.
Soon, they passed someone else who said, "Look at those two selfish creatures riding while that poor old animal has to trudge along under the burden. Why they should be carrying him." So they got off, picked up the donkey, and carried him as they continued to market.
When they arrived at the market they were met with jeering and ridicule. Everyone said, "Look at those two coming to the market to sell an animal so feeble they had to carry him."
The farmer and his son put the donkey down and returned home in shame.