This is a story that children love. They could be invited to put in some sound effects e.g. Every time I put my keys up you might like to go “clip clop”. Every time I put my keys down you can stop.
The story takes place in Italy and it concerns a man and his son and their donkey. The father and the boy were walking alongside their donkey and they were on their way to the markets – clip clop, clip clop.
It is a long, dusty road and soon they came across a man who looked up and said, “What a foolish fellow that man is to trudge through the dust with his son and his donkey.” And all three had good ears to hear and they stopped. Being anxious to please, the man put his son on the donkey’s back and on they went – clip clop, clip clop.
They hadn’t gone very far when they came across another man. He stopped what he was doing and said, “What a badly brought up son. There you are sitting right on the donkey’s back while your poor old father has to walk.”
And all three had good ears to hear and being anxious to please they brought the donkey to a stop. The son got down and the father got on instead and on they went – clip clop, clip clop.
It wasn’t too long before they reached a third man and he stopped and said, “What a lazy inconsiderate man. Making your little boy walk while you ride. That boy looks tired.”
And all three had good ears to hear and being anxious to please, the father took his little son up beside him and on they went – clip clop, clip clop.
When they were about 1 mile from the town they came across another man. He said, “Have a bit more care for that poor old donkey. You have got no business to overload him so badly.” And all three of them had good ears to hear and they heard him.
For a moment they stood still at a bit of a loss to know what to do. As they stood there puzzling there was only one thing they could do. They unravelled a strong cord from their basket, they tied the donkey’s legs together and slung him on a pole. So they tried to carry him the rest of the way.
There was still people who weren’t pleased and poked fun at them and the donkey wasn’t pleased either and taking fright at all the fuss the donkey slipped the rope and fell headlong into the river – clip clop, clip clop, glug glug, glug,glug.
No wonder the people felt so sorry for the man, the boy and the donkey. It had taken them so long to learn that you can’t please everyone.
Source: Italo Calvino's book on Italian Folk Tales