a beast of burden

a beast of burden

  (literary)
a large animal, such as a donkey (= an animal like a small horse with long ears), which is used for pulling vehicles or carrying heavy loads Huskies are traditionally used in the Arctic as beasts of burden.
See also: beast, burden, of
References in classic literature ?
The elephant, which its owner had reared, not for a beast of burden, but for warlike purposes, was half domesticated.
Ca- pable of high attainments as an intellectual and moral being--needing nothing but a comparatively small amount of cultivation to make him an orna- ment to society and a blessing to his race--by the law of the land, by the voice of the people, by the terms of the slave code, he was only a piece of property, a beast of burden, a chattel personal, nevertheless!
Israel unveiled a beast of burden to help soldiers and it expects lots of buyers.
The mule (horse/donkey mix) has been a beast of burden for centuries.
Like Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey, who saves his men from a life as beasts, a network storage controller can relieve a storage administrator's tasks as a beast of burden.
Black skin had become linked with slavery and with the worst manual labor, and hence to be black was to be more like a beast of burden than a thinking human being, fit for freedom and citizenship.
Changed into a llama by a scheming advisor who had meant to poison him, the young emperor becomes a beast of burden for the very peasants he has long ignored and abused, and must eat some humble pie before he finds the potion (and the compassion) that will let him become a good ruler.