Maybe it's because I'm not all the way through The Golden Ass, but I'm having a hard time understanding the orchestration of this whole big joke on Lucious. Did Fortis have a hand in the putting together of this practical joke? And if so is she putting together this metamorphoses of Lucious into an ass? I mean I get the metaphor of Lucious turning into what he is already, but is it Fortis who is the puppet master? For the entire village to be in on this big joke on Lucious he must be an ass to not be able to figure out what is going on, or the village people are extremely well versed in pulling off this outstanding practical joke. This could easily be equated to the show Howie Do It, where Howie Mandel pulls practical jokes on people and makes these poor people look like an "ass." The planning must be perfect and well done. I do like the planned build up to the denouement of this short story within a story, or metafiction.