The Ass and his Shadow
A traveller hired an Ass to convey him to a distant place. The day being intensely hot, and the sun shining in its strength, the traveller stopped to rest, and sought shelter from the heat under the Shadow of the Ass. As this afforded only protection for one, and as the traveller and the owner of the Ass both claimed it, a violent dispute arose between them as to which of them had the right to it. The owner maintained that he had let the Ass only, and not his Shadow. The traveller asserted that he had, with the hire of the Ass, hired his Shadow also. The quarrel proceeded from words to blows, and while the men fought the Ass galloped off.
In quarreling about the shadow we often lose the substance.