Bauble

A fool should never hold a bauble in his hand. “ `Tis a foolish bird that fouls its own nest.” The bauble was a short stick, ornamented with ass's ears, carried by licensed fools. (French, babiole, a plaything; Old French, baubel, a child's toy.)

If every fool held a bauble, fuel would be dear.
The proverb indicates that the world contains so many fools that if each had a separate bauble there would be but little wood left for lighting fires.

To deserve the bauble.
To be so foolish as to be qualified to carry a fool's emblem of office.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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