Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Microstory 1298: The Burro and the Bust

There was a burro whose responsibility it was to carry food and other goods over the mountain to sell at the market. It was a thankless job, but he was proud of it, and always felt that things could be worse. One day, a man approached the burro’s owner, and asked her if he could borrow the burro. They wanted to transport a very important statue through town, so that all could gaze upon its magnificence during a small parade. The woman agreed, and so did the burro, even though he didn’t really understand what was going on. He was just happy to meet a new friend. The man loaded the burro with the statue, and led him down the path. When they reached the town, the crowds came out and cheered. They smiled and laughed, and some even wept a little, for the statue was a bust resembling their late leader. She was a wonderful woman, who did so much for the whole county, and they were grateful to be honoring her in this way. The burro still did not understand, though. He thought the people were cheering for him, so in response, he grunted, and he groaned, and he brayed. And the people cheered louder. They had no problem with it, because the statue didn’t have any feelings, but the burro did. There was no point in ruining his day, and the truth was that he was pretty great anyway, so it wasn’t like they were lying to him. It made everyone happy. The burro continued to walk through town with the bust, smiling with pride, and the day was better for it.

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

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