There once was a farmer who wanted to buy a donkey. He wanted a hardworking one that could help him on his farm. He went to a market and saw one that looked perfect.

“May I try out his donkey for a day or two?” asked the farmer. “If he is hardworking, I will pay you a good price.”

“Of course you may,” said the seller. “I’m sure that he will please you.” The farmer thanked the seller and took the donkey back to his farm.

When they arrived, the new donkey joined the other animals on the farm. He placed himself beside the fattest, laziest donkeys there. The farmer shook his head and took him back to the seller.

“Show me another donkey,” said the farmer. “I don’t want this one.” He told the seller about what the donkey had done.

“I don’t understand,” said the seller. “What’s wrong with standing beside lazy donkeys?”

“Well,” said the farmer, “you can understand a lot about someone if you look at the friends he chooses.”