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Sunday , January 23 2022

Donkeys to man: This is how the world is, beware of its evil

A FEW days ago, I read an imaginary dialogue between a donkey and its colt. It is a conversation that has been narrated since ancient times. The story begins with the colt abstaining from eating for a day, i.e. a hunger strike, in protest of the people’s practice of labeling anyone who misbehaves as a donkey. His body was emaciated, his ears became drooped, and he almost fell to the ground because of weakness.

When the donkey realized that his colt’s health was deteriorating, he wanted to know the reason. He asked him, “What is wrong with you, my son? I brought you the best barley but you still refuse to eat. Why do you do this to yourself?”
The colt raised his head and said, “People are the cause of my distress.”
The donkey was astonished and asked, “Why humans?”
The colt replied, “They mock us, the donkey community.”
The father asked, “How is that?”
The son said, “Do you not see? Whenever someone commits a disgraceful act or commits a vice, they call him a donkey. They describe that person’s stupidity as that of a donkey. However, we are not like that, father. We work tirelessly, we understand stuff, and we have feelings.”

The father donkey became confused and did not know how to respond to his son’s questions. He quickly swung his ears left and right, and said, “See, my son, they are human beings created by God who prefers them over all other creatures. However, they did a lot to themselves before they turned to us. Have you seen a donkey steal his brother’s money? Have you seen any donkey torture the rest of the donkeys for no reason, just because they are weaker than him, or because he did not like what the other donkey said? Have you seen a racist donkey that treats other donkeys differently on the basis of color, gender and language, or differentiates between his kind on sectarian basis?”
With a sigh, he then asked his son, “Have you ever heard of American donkeys planning to kill Arab donkeys just to get their barley? Or have you seen a donkey working as an agent for a foreign country or plotting against his own country?”

The donkey then told his colt, “Of course, you have not heard of such crimes in the world of donkeys. And do humans know the wisdom of their creation and work accordingly well? It is for this reason that, my son, I ask you to take it easy. Honor us, your parents, and we must remain as we are – donkey, and son of a donkey. Let people say whatever they want, and brag about riding horses. It is enough for us to be proud that we are donkeys. We do not lie. We neither kill nor steal. We neither spy nor insult. We do not rejoin around the wounded and dead.”
The words of the father calmed his son, and the latter immediately decided to eat barley. He then said, “Yes my father, I will remain as I am. I am proud that I am a donkey, the son of a donkey.”

It is not known among animals about a son killing his mother or father, or planting or manufacturing drugs and selling them to his species, or smuggling them to other countries in order to kill their young. We have not heard of any donkey embezzling public money and earning wealth illegally. None of these animals invented weapons of mass destruction to kill their own. No laboratories and study centers were set up in the forest for this purpose. No prizes or high ranks were awarded to those who committed massacres.
Humans glorify the pursuit of establishing humanity. This is why many of them boast about protecting and defending animals, while turning a blind eye to all the misdeeds they commit.

In the 19th century, the Syrian poet Adeeb Ishaq wrote a famous poem, an extract of which is – “Killing a person in a forest is an unforgivable crime. Killing peaceful people is a matter of inconclusive consideration. The right to power is given only to the one who conquers. This is how the world is … Beware of its evil.”
Therefore, the question that comes to the mind of everyone who reads the aforementioned dialogue between the donkey and his son is – Who are the donkeys who do not grasp the wisdom of their existence, and have done much harm to their species? Is it the humans or this friendly and peaceful animal?

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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