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Animal Stories: Bob The Donkey

...As they passed the shops Bob saw his reflection in the windows. “They’re right’ he thought to himself, ‘just look at my head – it’s huge. And look at my ears. They stick up like that for everyone to laugh at. And my voice! It’s true! It’s horrible! I wish I wasn’t me”...

Bob the donkey does not like the way he looks, but Ernie his owner brings him the most comforting of all messages.

Graham Whitcroft brings us a children's story which will delight readers of all ages.

This is the first in a series of ten stories by Graham. Watch out for further stories in the series.

Bob was a donkey who worked on Blackpool beach with Ernie, his owner.

Every morning Bob awoke a six o’ clock. After his breakfast of oats and hay, Ernie put on his bright red bridle and led him to the beach. They didn’t have to wait long for the children to arrive.

Bob loved the children. He liked to listen to their squeals of delight as they pulled on his reigns, pressed their legs into his side and imagined themselves to be cowboys riding in the Wild West.

Matthew, Rebecca, Jessica and Owen were Bob’s very best friends. He looked forward to their holiday as much as they did. Sometimes they would buy Bob an ice cream, which of course he never refused.

There were, however, some children he didn’t like. These were the boys who often laughed at Bob and said, “Look at those huge ears!” and “What a big head”. Then they’d call him names like “Big head” or “Noddy”. Occasionally, when Ernie wasn’t looking, they’d prod him with a stick, just to make him cry. Then, covering their ears they’d say, “What a voice, what a din, what a noise you make”. Can you imagine how Bob felt?

One day, after such an episode, Ernie led Bob back home for tea. As they passed the shops Bob saw his reflection in the windows. “They’re right’ he thought to himself, ‘just look at my head – it’s huge. And look at my ears. They stick up like that for everyone to laugh at. And my voice! It’s true! It’s horrible! I wish I wasn’t me”.

Bob couldn’t wait to get back to his stable. When his tea came – carrots, cabbage and hay, he just stood, looked, and decided he wasn’t hungry. When Ernie brought some fresh straw he noticed Bob’s tea, still lying there. He gave Bob a sideways glance but didn’t say anything.

The next morning when Ernie opened the stable door, he saw that the food was still there, unwanted and uneaten. He walked over to Bob. “What’s wrong old fella?” he asked, “Off your food? It’s not like you. Have I got to get the vet or is something on your mind – you can tell me.” As Ernie knelt beside Bob, the donkey started to cry. “Come on lad, you can tell me”.

Bob waited patiently until at last, Bob said, “It’s my head – and my ears.”

“Oh, then I do need to get the vet”, said Ernie as he started to get back on his feet.

“Oh no’ said Bob, eager that their little talk should continue, ‘I’m not poorly, just sad. You see, my head is so big, my ears are so huge and my voice sounds so silly to human ears. I’m just not good enough, a good for nothing donkey”.

Ernie remembered the afternoon of the day before and the cruel way in which those boys had teased Bob.

“Let me tell you something” said Ernie, and he settled down in the warm straw with his arm around Bob’s neck. “There was once a man who needed to travel from the village of Bethany to the city of Jerusalem so he looked around for the best form of transport. There weren’t any noisy, smelly vehicles in those days, just animals. He considered a camel but decided that wouldn’t do. There was the horse but despite its handsome features and strong muscles, he decided that the horse wasn’t suitable either. And then he saw a donkey, with its big head and sticking up ears, its funny voice and stubborn nature and he thought, “That will do”. So with hundreds of people lining the route and shouting his praises, he rode the donkey into Jerusalem”.

Do you know who that was?” continued Ernie.

“No” said Bob quietly.

“Well, I’ll tell you. That was Jesus, the Son of God himself. And just to show that he thinks you donkeys are very important animals, he put his special mark on the back of every donkey. You can’t turn your head enough to see Bob, but it’s there. Hang on for a minute and I’ll show you”.

After one or two journeys into his house, Ernie brought three mirrors and positioned them at different angles until Bob saw his back for the first time in his life.

“What do you see?” asked Ernie.

Bob stared in amazement. “Why, it’s a cross” he said.

“It is lad, and the good Lord put it there to remind you and everybody else, just how important you are. Don’t ever forget that, and don’t let me hear you say again that you are no good”.

After Ernie had removed the mirrors from the stable, he left, giving Bob some time on his own.

Half an hour passed. Bob decided he was hungry after all and finished up his tea of the night before, then, he stood in the yard and waited. “Oh, you’re ready,’ said Ernie as he appeared in the yard, ‘just as well too. We’re half an hour late today and we don’t want to disappoint the children do we?”

No more was said.

On his way to the beach Bob saw one of those boys who had taunted him so badly the night before. The boy was on his own now and too cowardly to repeat the cruel words that still rang in Bob’s ears. But Bob walked on. He held his head in the air, smiled to himself and said “I’m special I am”.

Bob enjoyed his day on the beach even more than ever.


Luke 19: 28 to 38; 1 Corinthians 1:26 to 28


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