the boy and the donkey

IMG_1725A donkey wandered around the backyard, minding its own business, when, suddenly, a young boy plopped a colorful wool blanket onto the unsuspecting animal’s back. That little kid jumped aboard, straddling the animal, just like he’d seen the older boys do. A friend grabbed the donkey’s rein and nudged the calm creature around the fenced in yard. Six or seven boys took turns climbing up onto the donkey’s swayed back and enjoy the slow pace of the animal.

Now, these boys were young, in first grade most likely. Boys being boys. Finding something to do to pass the time. The first boy to ride the donkey was in charge of this small-time circus, well, because, it was his grandma who gave them permission to entertain the donkey. Now, this was exciting considering these young lads had never before been allowed to enjoy such a treat. The boys laughed and laughed. They were enjoying themselves when out of nowhere – it seemed – a voice asked, “Can I ride?” It was another friend, the one who always seemed to get himself in some kind of trouble.

“Before you can ride the donkey you need to pull the donkey around the yard first,” the ring master told his friend. The newly arrived boy grabbed the rein, but none of the other kids climbed onto the donkey’s back, which was actually kind of nice because it made it easier for the trouble-maker to guide the animal around. The lone boy circled the yard but then decided to be a bit daring, so he oh-so-slowly maneuvered the donkey into the space below the house. Enough space to get through, but confined enough that he needed to stoop to walk from one end to the other. Except, well, the problem was, the boy didn’t stoop enough, or properly, or something, because all that the other boys could hear was “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!” every time the boy smacked his forehead against the wooden pillars protruding down from below the house. The boy exited the other side holding his hand flat against his flaming red forehead. “That hurt,” is all he said. The other boys laughed, not surprised by the trouble-maker’s shenanigans, while the ring-leader jumped onto the donkey for another ride.

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