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An Ass Cast Away

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An ass, belonging to a captain in the Royal Navy, then at Malta, was
shipped on board a frigate, bound from Gibraltar for that island. The
vessel struck on some sands off the Point de Gat, and the ass was thrown
overboard, in the hope that it might possibly be able to swim to the land;
of which, however, there seemed but little chance, for the sea was running
so high, that a boat which left the ship was lost. A few days after, when
the gates of Gibraltar were opened in the morning, the guard were
surprised by Valiant, as the ass was called, presenting himself for
admittance. On entering, he proceeded immediately to the stable of a
merchant, which he had formerly occupied. The poor animal had not only
swam safely to the shore, but without guide, compass, or travelling map,
had found his way from Point de Gat to Gibraltar, a distance of more than
two hundred miles, through a mountainous and intricate country,
intersected by streams, which he had never traversed before, and in so
short a period, that he could not have made one false turn.

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