Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > German
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vol. XII: German
 
The Donkey’s Voice
By Abraham a Sancta Clara (Ulrich Megerle) (1644–1709)
 
From “Judas, the Arch-Rogue”

A CERTAIN singer was most vain of his voice, thinking it so enchanting it might allure the very dolphins, or if not them, the pike, from out of the deep. But it is an old custom of the Lord to punish the vain ones of the earth, who like nothing better than praise. So the Lord made this man sing false at Holy Mass, and the whole congregation was utterly displeased. Close by the altar there was kneeling an old woman, who wept bitterly during the Mass. The conceited songster, thinking that the old woman had been moved to those tears by the sweetness of his voice, after Mass approached the dame, asking her, in the presence of the congregation, why she had wept so sadly. His mouth watered for the expected praise, when, “Sir,” said the woman, “while you were singing I remembered my donkey; I lost him, poor soul, three days ago, and his voice was very natural, like yours. Oh, heavenly Father, if I could only find that good and useful beast!”
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