The Donkey, the Man, and the Son

Donkey fables are kind of our thing at Renzoe Box. Here’s another one for you to ponder:


One day a boy, his father, and their donkey were headed toward the market. All three walking next to each other, they passed through a village. In the distance they noticed a man coming toward them. As the man came nearer, the three could hear him berating them, “why have a donkey if neither of you are going to ride it?” Alarmed by this, the father decided to lift his son onto their donkey to ride the rest of the way.

As they continued along the road to the market, an old woman washing her clothes in a nearby stream saw the boy riding the donkey while the father walked. “What are you spoiling that boy for?” The lady questioned. “Every father knows that if you pamper your son by letting him ride the donkey, he will never grow strong enough to take care of himself!” Alarmed again by the audacity of strangers, the father decided to help the boy down from the donkey and ride it himself.

Continuing down the road, the father from his higher vantage point saw three manly-looking men preparing timber. As they passed by, the men began laughing. “What are you laughing at?” Questioned the father. “We’ve never seen such an unmanly father. You make your poor son walk along the road while you ride the donkey, what a disgrace to men everywhere!”

Hearing this, the father thought of an idea that would please everyone. Both the father and son would ride the donkey. As they entered town both upon the donkey, the noticed people jeering and scoffing at them. “What are you pointing at?” Asked the father. The townspeople responded, “aren’t you ashamed for overloading that poor donkey? You and your big son are going to cause that donkey to collapse!”

The father and son tried to think of what to do next. They found a rug in the town and tied it to two poles. Amid all the laughing and sneering the two put the donkey on the rug, lifted him above their heads, and headed towards the market. Finally they came to the bridge that crossed over into the market. As they were crossing, the boy tripped over a loose nail in the bridge. He stumbled and fell, the donkey fell out of his position atop them, and in the confusion fell off the bridge into the water below. Unable to save him from the current, the donkey drowned.

“That should teach you” a wise old woman said who had followed them. “PLEASE ALL, AND YOU WILL PLEASE NONE."