The Donkey And Conquering Life

I love simple stories that teach, especially analogous ones. They last so much longer in the memory and therefore so does the lesson at the heart of them. This is one of my favourites.

Got yourself a cuppa? Then Iโ€™ll begin:


A donkey was going for a walk on his farmers land one day and unfortunately fell down a dis-used well. The poor donkey was only slightly scratched but was in shock and fairly distressed because peering up into the shaft towards the light some distance above, he could see that climbing out of the well was not going to be an easy task.


The farmer had heard his pitiful wailing and came to see what had happened. His worried pacing up and down had not pacified the donkey as he could tell that the farmer could not decide how to get him out and he cried some more. Eventually the farmer decided the best thing to do would be to simply fill in and close up the well to avoid any more accidents and rather unfortunately for the donkey that meant sacrificing him to get the job done. Like most animals he was a lot smarter than the human gave him credit for and he had worked out what the farmer had decided to do.


First The Fear

The donkey yelled out in fear and distress to all the other other farm animals who heard him but although they were very sad they stayed put. Their various hands, paws, wings and hoofs were metaphorically and physically tied and they could do nothing to help. The farmer had rounded up some farm hands and they began shoveling earth down onto the frightened animal. He cried and cried as the earth rained down on his back. The terrified screeching and beseeching continued as he begged the stupid farmer to help him get out. The noise was horrifying…and then it stopped.

The farmer and the farm hands continued filling up the well with shovels regardless.


Then The Strength

Some time later the farmer peered into the well to see how much more there was to fill and he was met with a great surprise. The donkey was still alive and although a little dusty had managed to climb to the top of the well. He watched some more and noticed how he had done it.


With every loaded shovel of dirt the donkey had shrugged it off his back and then climbed on top of it.


The next batch rained on him and he would do the same, shrugging each shovel full of dirt off his shoulders. When the donkey reached the top he climbed out of the well then relieved himself on the farmers boots and sauntered off…

Okay I added the last bit about relieving himself, but you get the picture.


Then The Resolution

Of course the moral of the story is that with every piece of crap that hits you, you must square yourself to shrug it off and rise above it. What happens to each of us is not nearly as important as our chosen reactions to overcome each problem. I don’t want to sound twee. Some of life’s unwelcome challenges will be harder to apply this to…but ultimately, if one is to continue to go on in strength it has to be applied…eventually.

It is a simple message:

Use every difficulty as a stepping stone, shrug it off and step up!



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Bananas‘ the donkey.

30 thoughts on “The Donkey And Conquering Life

  1. First of all . . . I wish the donkey really would have piddled on that farmer!
    But, for me, I’d have to say ” TRY to use every difficulty as a stepping stone, TRY to shrug it off and TRY step up! And if at first you don’t succeed . . . TRY, TRY AGAIN . . . cause sometimes life’s a real bitch.

  2. There is a lot of good advice here. I adopted two WILD Donkeys 9 years ago from a BLM Wild Roundup Auction. I had just moved to Arizona from Long Island, NY. I had owned a lot of dogs, but never Donkeys. So, now I owned them and had to care for them and I said DUH! What the hell do I know about raising Donkeys? Fortunately, I found a great group of Donkey owners on the Internet and they gave me invaluable advice. Donkeys are extremely smart. If they feel you are as smart as they are, they will teach you how to communicate with them. It takes a fair amount of patience to raise Donkeys, but if you stick with them, they will teach you some very practicable lessons in life, including how to get from under the crap people shove on you daily. All you have to do is to be open to their tenets. It’s a mutual respect thing.

    1. First of all MD Hawthorne you are my favourite person of the week for adopting those donkeys (and your 2 dogs!) You are quite literally The Man! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Your assessment of them can refer to any animal I’ve known.

      1. I shared your post on my facebook. One of my good friends just got married, returned from their honeymoon only to be robbed of all their possessions. I think this is inspiration to them to “shake off the dirt and keep climbing upward”!

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