One beautiful spring morning, a merchant loaded his donkey with bags of salt to go to the market, in order to sell the salt. The merchant and his donkey were walking along together. They had not walked far when they reached a river on the way.
Unfortunately, the donkey slipped and fell into the river. As it scrambled up the bank of the river, it noticed that the bags of salt loaded on his back had become lighter.
There was nothing the merchant could do except return home, where he loaded his donkey with more bags of salt. As they reached the slippery riverbank again, the donkey fell into the river, this time deliberately. Thus the salt was wasted again.
By now the merchant knew the donkey’s trick. He wanted to teach the animal a lesson. As he returned home the second time with the donkey, the merchant loaded bags of sponges on its back.
The duo set out on their trip to the market a third time. On reaching the river, the donkey very cleverly fell into the water again. But now, instead of the load becoming lighter, it became heavier.
The merchant laughed at the donkey and said, “You foolish donkey, your trick has been discovered. You should know that you cannot fool anyone too many times.”