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The Enchanted Mule

The master of the inn, thinking that some mishap had befallen the archbishop, made haste to secure the mule; but as it was already night, he postponed sending off one of his servants till next morning.

Once again at the manger, Pablo had time to consider over the mistake he had made, and he would gladly have undergone any punishment, could he but have regained his former shape.

While he was thus musing, he saw the monk approaching, looking very sorrowful indeed.

“Pablo,” said he, “how dost thou like being a mule?”

Now, Pablo was cunning, and, not wishing to let the monk know what had happened, he answered—

“As for liking it, I enjoyed carrying the archbishop as much as he liked being carried; but I am not accustomed to such gay trappings and good living, so that I am afraid of injuring my health.”

“If that be the case,” continued the monk, “hold down thy head, and I will relieve thee of the danger; for, to tell you the truth, I find out that my wife is still living, and she recognized me although I was disguised as a monk. By my faith, I would rather bear my master’s harness to the grave than my wife’s tongue from morning till night! Caramba, I hear her knocking at the door! Dear Pablo, let us again exchange conditions.”

And Pablo, when he awoke next morning, was tightly grasping a beam, thinking he was the Archbishop of Toledo clinging on to the mule’s neck.

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