Donkey was as sad as sad could be. For the past two years he had been working night and day at the quarry, transporting boulders up and down the mountain tops, navigating nasty, dangerous rocky paths and shelves with surprising ease. His back ached from the hard labour each and every day, he barely had an hour or two to rest until he had to rise again. The slave drivers of the quarry cared not for Donkey and his friends, for their health there was no concern, for, if one were to falter – goodness! From exhaustion topple and then, it would be the end for them, off to the glue factory, where they’d be recycled into something which to them was utterly foreign.
Although Donkey had a strict and firm work ethic, he still needed time to wind down, and become himself again. Even if that meant a more morose, dismayed Donkey, this was the way he was, this was his personality. He tried to find the good in things, but often could not do so, and when this occurred he changed his mind set, and tried to become more gungho. It did not work though, not at all.
With his friends working the quarry, they decided to arrange a strike, to be operated at 1000 hours, not a second before or a second too late. The sounding of the kazoos from their lips would alert all that they were now in command, no more slave drivers to force their hand, work long hours when of their workers health they did not give a damn.
Donkey arrived for his evening shift, promptly, as he was known to do, and worked the eight hours, grumbling through and through. Tonight the bags of rocks were far too heavy, overloaded with sprawling boulders and pebbles which flowed onto the mountain so freely, making his nerves wavering, his hooves unsteady. He scorned the slave driver assigned to him, who whipped at him and beat him, yelling at him freely.
Oh, how the shame, there was so much dismay for Donkey to have, to experience this ownership from a man who was not even a true decent man. And when it came for the strike Donkey looked down and saw an enormous bag of boulders and pebbles, just innocently waiting there to be viewed. With an air of a smirk about him, the slave driver presented the bag with a flourish of his hand, as though to say,
“Take that, we know of your plans, perform this task or I’ll strike you instead.”
Donkey’s back was breaking, his eyes were tearfully watering, he wanted nothing more than to return to the stable and rest. He could no longer be bothered with this strike, it had been discovered, this was not at all nice, and being punished was he for wanting to put up somewhat of a fight. He didn’t have time for this, not at all, he needed to rest after that last bag of rocks, he needed to relax for the night. And all the more painful this trip up the mountain was, for the bag of rocks wasn’t equally weighted on both sides, perhaps this was something the man had cruelly decided to made sure.
And then Donkey lost his footing, he tumbled close to the edge! His left front leg was bleeding profusely, having been caught on a boulder laying on the path, and then, the slave driver spotted him, rushed forth to his aid? Or was he getting ready to send him to the glue makers, where into his hand money would be paid? All Donkey knew was that he was losing light, his brightness inside was faltering, deep down inside. And blackness occurred, the paining now a daydream, nothing more was there for Donkey as it may seem.
After what felt like an age, his eyes flickered, his eyes were opened, his surrounding taken in and saved. To his right were his friends who had been injured over the years, hurriedly sent away to be dealt with in the night. Here they lounged on sun chairs, rocking horses, lounge suites, sipping Bacardi and Coke, while champagne seemed to be the preference for some.
“Where am I?” he asked in wonderment, amazed.
“This is the ‘Glue Factory‘,” one replied with a laugh, “It was all a farce, here we are actually saved.” But Donkey didn’t understand how this could have become, how it occurred, who ensured the saving in a relaxing paradise was done. The replying donkey explained that the Glue Maker’s wife was in love with animals and for every horse or donkey sent to the factory she bought them from her husband with her own dollars. Then she saved them in this hidden place, a gem tucked away from the world, and wasn’t she a wonderful woman, a sterling example she was setting for her and her husband’s little girl.
“Thank goodness for this woman, our saviour,” Donkey exhaled and with brightened eyes, said, “We must remain here in luxury for the rest of our lives. Thanks be to her for saving us from becoming glue. One day we will repay her kind actions, she will feel the same gratitude too.”
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.