The Hodja's donkey had become very obstinate lately. He was fed up with the beast, but there was nothing much he could do about it.

One day he took his son to the stable and said to him aloud:

"Son, I want you to stop feeding this donkey. Let it starve to death!"

As soon as they were out of the stable, he whispered into his son's ear:

"Never mind what I said there in the stable, son. Carry on feeding the brute as usual. All I meant to do was to give it a fright and perhaps persuade it to change its attitude."

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