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The Jackrabbits and the Mule the 4th episode of season 2 of Aesop and Son.

Plot

The episode opens with Aesop sitting on a bench laughing hysterically. Just then, Junior arrives and wonders what's so funny. Aesop explains that he's laughing at a joke he had heard two years before and has now just gotten the punch line. A confused Junior questions Aesop's sense of humor, seeing as though it took him two years to get the joke. Aesop then interrupts and reminds Junior of his most popular proverb, "He who laughs last laughs best." Junior breaks the fourth wall and says that he smells a fable coming up.

Aesop begins narrating the fable, relating that once there was a desert ("The dryest most uninhabited piece of real estate you ever saw."). The only thing moving in the desert aside from the sand were two jackrabbits named Flem and Charlie who were prospecting for gold. Unfortunately, neither of them seem to recognize gold when they see it and, despite finding a gold nugget, believe they have been unsuccessful so far. Even so, they are still optimistic that they will find some one day. After a hard day's work, they decide to leave and get water. The only water source in the desert is located at a small outdoor restaurant operated by an industrious mule. The only thing on the menu at the restaraunt is water, which the mule obtains from a nearby well. The jackrabbits show up, claiming to be hot and tired and request a pitcher of water. The mule tells them that he would like to grant their request, but then frustratedly reminds them that they have so far drank 80 pitchers of water from his restaurant without paying. Flem assures him they will pay him when they strike gold, and that Charlie has a present for him. This seems to placate the mule, as he hands them a pitcher of water while Charlie hands him a cigar. Just as the mule lights the cigar, it explodes in his face, leaving him dazed. The jackrabbits laugh meanly at the result of the trick they have just played as they guzzle down their water. The following day, the jackrabbits return to their work and again return to the mule's restaraunt for more water. The mule initially refuses to grant them water unless he is paid for it. Flem tells the mule that a contrite-looking Charlie is sorry about the trick he had played the day before. Charlie agrees and tells the mule that to make up for it he went into town and brought a high-quality cigar. Not wanting to hold a grudge, the mule gives them another pitcher as he lights the cigar. After a few puffs, the mule wonders if Charlie is sure the cigar is good. Charlie agrees, and a beat passes before he adds, "...good and powerful!" The cigar explodes in the mule's face as before and Flem congratulates Charlie on having fooled the mule again. The following day, the jackrabbits, acting on a hunch, take a sample of dirt they have unearthed into the local Assayer's office to be tested. The assayer reveals that the sample contains not only gold but also silver, uranium and even lanolin, making Flem and Charlie billionaires. The jackrabbits return to the restaurant to tell the mule the good news and Charlie offers the mule another cigar, which he quickly refuses. Charlie tells the mule that he and Flem are leaving for Paris but want to make up for their tricks before they leave. The mule is unmoved, refusing the cigar again and requesting the money they owe him. Charlie insists again, with a tear in his eye, at which the mule reluctantly gives in. He takes the cigar and warns them that he will not fall for another trick. He lights the cigar and takes several puffs before exclaiming that it is very good. Satisfied, Charlie and Flem leave the restaraunt. As they walk away, Flem tells Charlie he's proud of him for restraining himself, believing that Charlie was going to give the mule yet another exploding cigar. However, as Charlie begins to explain, an explosion is heard offscreen, sending the jackrabbits into another round of malicious laughter.

Aesop explains in his narration that the jackrabbits thoroughly enjoyed their life in Paris. We pick them up three years and eleven days later, sitting on what appears to be the upper deck of the Eiffel Tower, lounging on lawn chairs. They revel in how well they have lived until they realize they have squandered their money and have only a, "Buck and a half" left. They leave Paris in a rowboat, paddling across the ocean before returning to the desert to prospect for more gold. After working for some time, they decide to stop for water and return to the mule's restaurant. They greet the mule, who looks stunned to see them, and Charlie announces he has brought the mule a present all the way from Paris. Charlie produces a cigar, which the mule gapes at in horror before fleeing for parts unknown. Realizing the mule has relinquished his well, the jackrabbits decide to get the water from the well themselves. They leap into the well only to realize, too late, that the well is empty, leaving them trapped. They call the mule for help, but he is long gone.

We return to Aesop who relates that, in the end, the mule got the last laugh after all. Thus, "He who laughs last, laughs best." Junior congratulates Aesop on a great fable, though only a pretty good moral, claiming that he could think of a better one. His moral, "You never miss the waiter 'till the well runs dry", (a pun on the similar pronunciations of 'waiter' and 'water') sends Aesop back into a fit of hysterical laughter.

Quotes

Flem picks up a gold nugget he has just unearthed.
Flem: "Found a rock, Charlie. Ya know what that is? That is high-grade doit (dirt)!

Charlie: Doit?

Flem: (Dissapointedly) Doit...

Flem discards the nugget as an optomistic smile comes on his face.

Flem: But don't you worry none pal. One of these days we'll strike it rich! C'mon, lets get some wattah (water)."

Flem and Charlie are lounging on the upper deck of the Eiffel Tower in lawn chairs.
Charlie: "Boy this is what I call real livin'! By the way, how long have we been here?

Flem: Tree years and eleven days.

Charlie: Oh, this is livin' alright!

Flem: Sure is. Only we oughta go a little easier on our money.

Charlie: (Surprised and nervous) How much have we got left?

Flem: (Dejectedly) 'Buck and a half..."

Aesop: "So, the mule had the last laugh after all, and that's why I say, 'He who laughs last, laughs best.'
Junior: Gee that's a swell fable, Pop, and a pretty good moral too.
Aesop: Oh, only a pretty good one?
Junior: Well, I can think of a better one.
Aesop: Alright, let's have it.
Junior: (clears throat) 'You never miss the waiter, 'till the well runs dry!'
Aesop: You never di-, oh Junior! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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