Clyde and the Three Billy Goats
One lean year on the rock farm left an eminently sensible earth pony named Clyde as a bridge tollpony to make a few extra bits for his family. One particular day, a tiny goat came walking up to the bridge.
“Howdy there,” said Clyde. “That’ll be one bit.”
“Oh please let me pass, sir,” the little goat chirped. “I haven’t got two bits to rub together. My brother’s coming along soon – he’ll pay you double, I promise!”
The little goat gave Clyde puppy eyes. Clyde snuck a glance at the tyke’s bit bag and indeed found it empty. He looked the goat in the eye and found him an honest goat.
“Fine, off you go, then,” Clyde waved the goat on.
“Thank you, sir!”
A little later, a goat Clyde’s size came trotting up to the bridge.
“Howdy there,” Clyde said. “That’ll be one bit.”
“Oh, do let me pass, sir,” the goat insisted. “I’ve got a lot to buy. My big brother is coming along soon. He’ll pay you quintuple, I swear!”
“That reminds me: your little brother said you’d pay double for him,” Clyde said. “That’ll be three bits.”
The goat stared down at Clyde, but the pony didn’t back down. “Fine – take your stupid bits!”
“Have a nice day,” Clyde smiled.
Later, a massive goat trotted up to the bridge. He was at least the size of Princess Celestia, and he wore a deep scowl on his face.
“Howdy friend, nice weather we’re having,” Clyde said.
“Whatever,” the goat grumbled as he stomped across the bridge.
Moral of the story: Don’t be the middleman.