An Introduction to Damascus, the Donkey Day 3

5 03 2007


Again I hear a deafening racket in my ears. I squint at a large form hovering over me, then gasp. I see a large, a very large, donkey perched precariously on the rocky ledge of the mountain with me and braying into my ears. I tentatively look down — we are at least 1,000 feet above the ground.

“Shant we get going?” The donkey speaks. I am surprised. The donkey speaks the King’s English. “The others have left months ago, perhaps even years ago. And I was sternly commanded to wait for any latecomers. That would be you, yes?”

“Why… yes. I have just started, and I am very behind. I’m so sorry you had to wait,” I said , chagrined at what appears to be a poor first meeting.

The donkey humphfed. “Well, you are who you are, aren’t you.” He looked me up and down, scowling. “And yet I do not know. Perhaps we shall have introductions, as one does in civilized countries. I have already met your Pigeon, and we have had a long discussion about your travels. In fact, we have made a pact.”

“And just why a pact? What are you up to?” I was wary as this trip was proving to be most surprising.

“Simple, my dear. You are a lone traveller, a woman at that, and you will need us if you run into, uh, unfortunate circumstances.”

“I am perfectly capable as a woman traveler. In fact, I dare say women are better travelers than men.” I was perfectly incensed. “Since I gather you are to be my companion, perhaps you will be surprised by my capabilities in the wild.”

“Yes. Yes. But we are wasting time, perched on this rock. Your country must be full of rude people. Here we are having a rather proper conversation, and we have yet to be introduced.

Pigeon swooped down between them. “Sorry, sorry! My fault! Donkey, this is Dear, although she will answer to Barbara most pleasantly. And Dear, this is Donkey. His proper name is Damascus and he prefers you call him his proper name. There. Now let’s get you two down from this precipice. I myself will have no problem. I shall meet you at the bottom.” And pigeon swooped into the air, riding the currents, until he could no longer be seen.

“Now, to see us down.” Damascus brayed with pleasure. “Lucky for you, I am very sure-footed. Fasten up!”

I tied my pack to the side of Damascus, using several of the bandanas that softened the straps of the pack on my shoulders. Already my things were handy! Then I clumberred upon his back, unsure of Damascus’s abilities, or truthfully, unsure of mine too. I need not have worried, for my travel downward was very smooth. I was not one bit fearful.

Until, that is, we took our first steps upon solid ground!

Barbara Farhenbac




3 responses

5 03 2007

This is really moving at a pace and the dialogue is great fun. I love Pigeon’s name.

7 03 2007
Heather Blakey

Now I am always intrigued and delighted by the characters that emerge to guide us. Pigeon is clearly the mediator here. Always good to have one with you on any journey. Many hands clapping with pleasure and delight.

7 03 2007

I like the King’s English speaking donkey!

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