Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Microstory 1272: The Donkey and the Dog

One evening, after supper, a farmer went out to bid his animals goodnight. The cows mooed graciously. The chickens clucked in delight. The pigs oinked with glee. But they all knew that they were not his favorites. The farmer could only allow himself to grow attached to the animals he would not one day slaughter, like the horses, the sheep, and the goats. But even they could not compare to the farmer’s love for his dog, and his donkey. The dog would hop around, and try to get the farmer to play, but the farmer was old and weary. The best he could do was sit on the milking stool, and let the dog rest in his lap. The donkey wanted to be part of this as well. He hopped around playfully, but could not match the dog’s agility. He tried to mimic the dog’s adorable barks and bays, but his voice only came out in screeches, irritating the other animals in the barn. But the donkey did not give up. He gently nudged the dog off of the farmer’s lap, and attempted to take her place. “No,” said the farmer. “You are too big for my lap. You would surely crush my legs, and break my knees.” So the sad donkey slinked off to stand alone in the corner. The farmer stood up from the stool, and followed his donkey over there. He gently petted the donkey. “I am too old to ride upon your back, and you are too big to sit upon my lap. But that does not mean I do not love you. The dog ran up and affectionately bit the donkey on his leg. “I love you both equally.”

This story was inspired by, and revised from, an Aesop Fable called The Ass and the Lapdog.

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