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The Donkey

A man bought a young donkey and straight away taught him the hardness of life. The whole day he made him carry heavy loads and gave him scarcely enough to eat; so that as time passed, the young donkey grew to be a proper ass.

If his master showed up he knelt down and allowed himself to be loaded with anything, no matter how heavy, so that sometimes he nearly collapsed.

Bystanders who saw this felt sorry for him and said to themselves "What a poor donkey!". They wanted to help him. One wanted to give him a lump of sugar, another a piece of bread; a third tried to entice him into his green meadow. But the donkey showed them all just what an ass he really was. He bit the hand of the first person who offered him sugar, kicked the shins of the second, and stubbornly refused the third as only a real donkey can. They left, shaking their heads. "What a stupid ass", they said.

Yes despite this, the donkey continued to eat out of his master's hand even when it contained nothing but straw. His master sang his praises from the rooftops. "I have the greatest ass in the world!" he said.

Bert Hellinger, Insights Lectures and Stories (2002) pg 108

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