By: Rogia al-Shafee
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Throughout history the donkey has been at the service of man. It does burdensome work and carries its owner for long distances without complaint. Contrary to the common belief that the donkey is stupid, experience had proved that the donkey understands and learns. Like a dog, a donkey can also have a feeling of love, intimacy and faithfulness towards its owner.
One of strangest stories of a donkey’s faithfulness towards and love for its owner is related to Sudanow Magazine by Mr. Abdelmone’m Abdelkareem Siddig.
School teacher Ahmed Mohammad Abdallah was a highly moral and pious young man. After graduation from university in the late seventies, Ahmed did not find a job that suits his qualification. So he returned to his home village in Nahr Alneel State and chose to become a primary school teacher. He lived with his mother and espoused one of the village girls.
Ahmed owned a good looking donkey which he harnessed with a nicely decorated saddle and other accessories that it tended to look almost like a horse. He used to wash and feed it very well and did not exhaust it with long travels, save the daily short trips to school and to the nearby mosque. For its part, the donkey reciprocated this care with obedience and love for Ahmed. Both Ahmed and his donkey were proud and respectful of each other. They enjoyed the company of each other.
Then Ahmed obtained a job in the Eastern City of Kasala and knew that it was time to part with his beloved donkey.
Before he would leave for his new destination, Ahmed entrusted his donkey to his best friend Abdelmone’m and asked him not to sell it to anybody unless to someone who can take utmost care of it.
His friend tried his best to comply with this request but failed to find a suitable buyer. In the end he sold the donkey to someone he knew and advised him to take care of it.
But the buyer turned to be a careless alcoholic who used to frequent the village liquor bar. From day one the donkey refused to go as ordered and kept trying to take the buyer to school or the mosque as it was taught by its previous owner, Ahmed.
So, when it was morning, the donkey would try to speed towards the school and when it was evening it would try to head towards the mosque.
The new buyer found much ado to teach it about his own destinations. This fruitless effort continued for three months. But the man wanted to keep the animal because it was good looking and of good ancestry.
One day as the man was leaving for the liquor bar he took an iron shackle with him and tied the donkey carefully before delving into the bar. “At that moment the donkey stared sharply at me, raised its front foot and bounced at my abdomen until I fell down. It then started to twist its body and cry in a strange voice. But I didn’t care,” said the man.
“Then after I took my booze, I went out to find that the animal was gone. I learned from some kids playing around that they had unshackled the donkey and let go of it when they saw its suffering,” he said.
The kids told me they saw the donkey run towards the mosque. At the mosque entrance it lay down on the ground and started to cry in a loud voice, tears pouring down from its eyes. Hearing the noise outside, the mosque guard and his children came out to see what was up. They brought the donkey water and fodder, but it refused to eat or drink, weeping all the time until midnight. And when they came out for dawn prayer they found out that it was already dead.
The donkey had died out of grief for losing its owner and because it did not like its new owner nor the way he treated it. It might have also remembered that its original owner, Ahmed, never whipped or shackled it. For it death was far better than leading a life of humiliation. It chose to die at the place Ahmed had liked.
Thinking deeply about what had happened, the new owner changed course and started to learn noble manners and abandoned alcohol altogether.
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