Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Story: Saving the Donkey

Story. There was a plague among the animals, and it impacted all types of animals. As many of them died, the animals pondered the cause of the plague. They were afraid they would be next. A group of animals conversed with each other.

The bird said, “It’s the bats. They carry the disease through their claws.”

The snake said, “It’s the rats. They carry a disease through their teeth.”

The wolf said, “It’s the serpent whose revenge will get us all.”

The lion king abruptly stated, “No, it is our actions that caused this plague. As king of all animals, I say we confess our wrongdoings and pinpoint the worst animal of all. That animal would have caused this mess. I will begin. I have many lionesses, and they are all lonely. I am wrong for causing them to fight.”

The bird replied, “No, King. You need to create many heirs to govern the other animals. With your strong traits, your heirs will rule the land for a millennium years to come.”

The snake confessed, “It is I who has sinned. I danced with my beloved rat and got the disease from her by accidentally killing her. When I saw her carcass, I fed upon her without thinking. We both loved each other, yet I could not help myself.”

The wolf said, “No, it is my fault. I tricked the serpent into killing sheep while I did nothing. I ran off with the kill. When the serpent chased me, I severely hurt him. He then cast a curse on me and those I associate with.”

After a long awkward moment, the donkey chimed in, “Well, I was so hungry, I ate grass from another animal’s land.”

The lion roared, “What?! You knew it was his land yet you atrociously ravaged his grass?”

Seeing the lion’s disapproval, the bird shrieked, “Get him!” They all chased the donkey so quickly that animals along the road thought a dust storm was approaching.

As the donkey ran, he yelled, “Why get me when you all did worse?” Then, he saw a herd of donkey, and pleaded, “Help, friends. I am in dire stress. Animals are trying to kill me for no reason.”

Seeing the donkey’s dismay, the herd of donkeys stood still and put on their meanest face. The chasing animals saw the group and immediately ran the other way because they were outnumbered.

The head of the herd advised, “Next time, stay away from that lot. The lion could have easily killed you, and shared you with the others. They are up to no good.”

The donkey said, “But they’re the only people I know. I have been roaming alone the whole time until I found them.”

The head donkey said, “Son, if they think of killing you, they are not your friends. Safe travels.” He then motioned for all the donkeys to continue their planned path.

The donkey longingly looked towards the direction where his ‘friends’ ran off. He glimpsed at the other group that was not too far away, and ran after them.

He caught up to the head donkey and asked, “Thank you for your help, Mister. May I join your herd?”

The head donkey smiled and nodded his head. The other donkeys introduced themselves to him, eager to know him.

A few months later, the donkey saw his old company far off in the distance chasing the wolf. He shook his head and joined his herd.

(Donkey: Wiki Commons)

Author’s Note. In the original story, The Animals and the Plague, from Aesop for Children by Winters, the animals actually had a plague and confessed their wrongdoings like the beginning of my story. However, the difference is that the donkey was beaten up by the other animals. While reading the story, I felt injustice for the donkey. Therefore, I wrote this story so that the donkey would live in another dimension other than his original story.

Bibliography. Aesop for Children by Milo Winters; link to reading online.


  1. Stephanie,

    I like the message that finding true friends is very important in life. Also, the fact that the other animals lack the self awareness to see how terrible all of their actions are is a nice touch. When they made the Donkey the scapegoat, they clearly established themselves as villains. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to reading more of your work throughout the semester.


  2. Aesops Fables are some of my favorite readings in this class. They offer a fun story that shares a good message. I liked your retelling of the story, especially the fact that the donkey did not get hurt. I think this story is one that many can relate to because we would all love to blame the problems of the world on someone else; in reality we all contribute to one problem or another. I look forward to reading more of your stories in the future!

  3. This was a cool story! I really like how you added a life lesson in there that finding the truest friends in life will always be better than finding fake ones. I wonder how it would be different if the donkey did get hurt, not injured badly, but hurt to the point that the others may have felt very badly for making him the scapegoat. If the donkey were to get hurt, I feel like the story would drastically be changed. So I do really like how you wrote the story and finished it. This was a very interesting read and I cannot wait to read more from you!

  4. Wow:
    One of my favorite things about this is the way you sprinkled in details to give the story more depth. Little things like the bird “shrieking” at the others, plus the donkey seeing the other animals going after the wolf instead at the very end, made your version quite engaging, whereas I normally have trouble getting into the original fables. Also, the bit about the donkeys banding together and putting on their meanest faces was a great visual, and cracked me up.

    I Wonder...?
    Another thing that intrigued me was the curse placed upon the wolf by the serpent he double-crossed. All of the other animals were mentioning fairly everyday stuff, and then the wolf’s issue was the only real mention of magic we get here. It makes me curious about the rest of the world-building here, and want to look up the fable this was based on.

    What if...?
    This is totally just a suggestion, but one thing you might consider in the future is switching up the order of your dialogue tags. Instead of always using the “X Character said, ‘Whatever’” format, you might put the dialogue tag at the end of the dialogue sometimes, as in, “ ‘Whatever,’ X Character said.” But again, that’s just something to switch up the rhythm of your writing, and it’s definitely not a big deal.

  5. I had never read The Animals and the Plague before! After reading your Author’s Note, I love that you chose the donkey. You did an amazing job at describing things that other animals did, but how the donkey was singled out. I am so happy that you gave him a heard to keep going with!
    Also, your descriptions are so good. I love how descriptive everything is, I literally had a picture of it in my head!
    I think you could describe the plague and how the animals really impacted from it. Only if you needed to expand the story, otherwise it was terrific! I think you’re going to do really well on you project because you’re such an awesome writer. My wow moment was definitely the donkey seeing his old animal friends. Once he found the other group of donkeys, his life definitely improved. I can’t wait to see more of your work this semester!