Derek's Private Study
Yet Another Donkey Story
A noted archeologist announced that he made a breakthrough discovery that gave new insights into everyday life in ancient times. His colleagues eagerly gathered to hear his presentation.
"What we have here," said the archeologist, "is a recently unearthed manuscript describing a simple, rustic existence where people worked closely with nature. Unlike us in our complex modern society, these people lived in a way that was basic, down-to-earth, and yet rich with meaning."
He went on to describe the difficulties involved in translating ancient English into modern language, then he delved into the actual content of the manuscript itself:
"The manuscript tells us that these ancient people used donkeys extensively for farming. Everyday they took their donkeys into the fields.
"They had different approaches to work. Most of them used positive reinforcement and kissed their donkeys in order to encourage them. This allowed them to work less. However, the farmer who wrote the manuscript did not use this approach. He preferred to kick his donkey so it would work harder.
"At the end of the day, the farmer's donkey was exhausted. His wife called out to him to let him know supper was ready – it was time to bring the donkey home.
"The farmer headed for home. There was a hole in front of him and he didn't notice it until the last moment. He sped up to get past it, but his donkey fell in. He cursed the donkey for being stupid.
"Afraid that his employer might see this, the farmer covered up the donkey with dirt, burying it alive, and quickly got away from the scene. He cursed his bad luck. At the same time, he also realized that much later, grass would begin to grow there – new life nourished by the dead body of the donkey!"
The audience sat stunned in silent admiration. After a moment, a scholar spoke up: "The poetic image is striking. Beautiful!"
Another scholar nodded in agreement: "These ancient Americans were philosophers in touch with spirituality. They understood life and death in ways we do not. We can learn quite a bit from them."
The archeologist thanked them, and unveiled the display case containing the manuscript: "Gentlemen, I now give you the latest discovery from United States – the greatest empire of antiquity!"
Everyone crowded around the display case to get a better look: