The Travellers who Ate the Donkey
Narrated by Yisahak Aldade
Long, long ago in the olden times, travellers used to spend many days on the road. They could not zoom around with modern transport, so you could spend three days, four days, a week or two weeks on the road, travelling from one place to another. And depending on what happened to you on the road it could take longer or shorter days.
Now once upon a time four travellers were passing through the desert, and it was hot and they were starving. They had spent many more days on the road than they had originally planned to, so they had run out of all their rations and food to eat. So as they walked along they became weaker and weaker.
And in the middle of the desert they sat down, completely tired, with nothing to eat, and exhausted. At that moment, out of nowhere, a huge donkey came braying and running around arrogantly. God alone knows what he had eaten in that desert, but he really seemed tough and he ran up and down braying and braying.
As most of the people in the south are Christians, they would never have thought of eating a donkey, let alone doing the act, they would never even think of it, because the Bible says you should not eat animals with cloven hooves. So they just sat down talking of other things.
But the donkey insisted and he brayed and brayed and made all sorts of sounds in front of them. Then one man looked up and he said, “Look brothers, instead of us dying out here in the desert, why don’t we eat this donkey, then at least we’d get back to our village.”
“In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, how can you even think such a thing?” the other three said.
So feeling out-numbered he just sat down quietly. After some time however, the second traveller looked up, and he could see the fat on the donkey as he ran up and down, and his muscles rippled.
And he said, “Yes I agree, I think we should eat this donkey, otherwise we are going to die.”
The other two refused adamantly.
So the two of them caught the donkey and they slaughtered him, and when they slaughtered him he had beautiful meat inside, white fatty meat that looked just like cotton, and all sorts of different things. So after slaughtering him they made a variety of dishes. They had some raw meat, they had some roasted meat, some fried meat, all different sorts of meat. And the fat started spluttering when they started cooking it, and it made all sorts of sounds of spluttering, like cchh...cchh...cchhh...cchh...cchh, and the third man began salivating.
Then in the end he could no longer stand the temptation of the fat, so he said to the fourth man, “Come along, I think we might as well eat, otherwise we are going to die here.”
“In no way will I eat the meat of the donkey,” the other man said. “I am a Christian and I will die a Christian. This piece of string around my neck shows my Christianity, and for this string I am willing to die.”
“Oh you are a fool,” they said.
And they ate up the donkey and they regained their strength and they were about to walk on, but the fourth man was very, very weak, so they supported him all the way, and eventually they reached their village.
Just before entering their village, one man said, “Hey wait a minute. Now when we go into the village the fourth guy is going to say that we ate donkey meat, and we are going to be ostracized in our society. So what shall we do about it?”
The three men thought a bit, and one said, “I have an idea. I will say that he ate donkey meat during the trip, and you two can be witnesses.”
So agreeing on this, they went into the village.
Everyone in the village rejoiced to see them coming and they made them coffee, and they said “It’s good that you’re back. You stayed so long we thought that you were dead.”
So there was a big ceremony and they all went to their houses.
The following day, one of the three got up and went to some farmers working, and said, “Shall I tell you a secret. On our way here, So-and-so, the son of So-and-so actually ate donkey meat.”
"Oh how outrageous, how could he do that? That’s so terrible!” they said.
Just then the two other travellers came up and said, “Yes, it’s a shame isn’t it. We saw it with our own eyes. He ate donkey meat.”
At that moment, the fourth traveller came and he said, “How dare you say this? I, son of So-and-so, son of So-and-so, son of So-and-so, would never eat donkey meat and you know this very well for a fact. In fact you are the ones who ate the donkey meat.”
And all the people around said "No way, these three men are not liars. They are the son of So-and-so, the grandson of So-and-so, the great-grandson of So-and-so, the great-great-great-grandson of So-and-so, and they would never go against their religion and eat donkey meat.”
So the fourth man was ostracized by the society, and when you are ostracized by the society, none of your daughters will get husbands and none of your sons will get wives. Therefore the man and his family were ostracized for ever.