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(Masnavi Book 5: 33) The Fox and the Donkey


The fox said to the lion, I will serve you (obediently): I will contrive expedients and rob him (the ass) of his wits.
Cunning and enchantment is my business: it is my business to beguile and lead astray.” Hastening from the mountain-top towards the river, he found that miserable emaciated ass. Then he saluted him cordially and advanced: he advanced to meet that poor simpleton,

2355. And said (to him), How are you in this arid desert (where you live) amidst stones and on sterile ground?
The ass replied, Whether I am in pain or in Iram, God has made it my portion, and I am grateful for it.
I give thanks to the Friend (God) in good and evil estate, because in (the Divine) destiny there is worse than
(the present) ill.
Since He is the Dispenser of portions, complaint is (an act of) infidelity. Patience is needful: patience is the key to the gift (bounteous reward).
All except God are enemies: He (alone) is the Friend: how is it good (seemly) to complain of a friend to an enemy?

2360. So long as He gives me buttermilk I will not desire honey, for every pleasure has a pain joined with it.”

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