For some time an old farmer had been plowing with an ox and a mule teamed together； working them pretty hard.
The young ox said to the mule， “Let's play sick today and rest a little while.” But the old mule said， “No， we need to get the work done， for the growing season is short.”
But the ox played sick， and the farmer brought it fresh hay and corn and made the ox comfortable. When the mule came in from plowing， the ox asked how it went in the fields. “We didn't get as much done，” answered the mule， “but we did a fair stretch.” Then the ox asked， “What did the old man say about me？” “Nothing，” said the mule.
The next day the ox， thinking it had a good thing going， played sick again. And when the mule returned from the field very tired， the ox asked， “How did it go today？” “All right， I guess，” the mule replied， “but we didn't get much done.” Then the young ox asked， “What did the old man say about me？”
“Nothing to me，” the mule answered，
“but he did stop and have a long talk with the butcher.”