Long ago there were many donkeys. The donkeys worked hard and had no time to play, to rest in the grass, or just to relax.
One day two donkeys got fed up with working so hard. They went to see the wise old man.
"I have an idea," said the wise old man. "I will paint you, and no one will know you are donkeys."
The wise old man got two pots of paint. One pot was filled with white paint, and the other was filled with black paint. First he painted the donkeys white. Then he painted black stripes over the white paint.
"You don't look at all like donkeys," said the wise old man. "I will call you something else - zebras!"
The zebras went to a field to lay in the grass. They did no work, and no one bothered them.
Soon other donkeys saw them. They asked the zebras where they came from. When the zebras told the donkeys what happened, all the donkeys rushed to see the wise old man. "Make us into zebras, too," they cried.
The old man could not paint the donkeys fast enough. Soon the donkeys grew restless. They began to kick and they knocked over the paint pots. The wise old man was out of paint.
The painted donkeys became zebras. The unpainted donkeys had to return to work. This is why both zebras and donkeys roam the earth.