Fable: The Race Horse and the Donkey

Patience, kindness, and humbleness are the traits that define the donkey. Every animal in the kingdom respected the donkey, and nobody ever doubted his advice. On the other hand, there was the racehorse, so full of pride and self-centered. Always so quick to dismiss the donkey, forming committees to investigate the donkey’s actions. Surprisingly the race horse got support from almost every animal in the jungle since they viewed him as the fastest, bravest, and the hero. The horse had, however, conquered nothing, he just got praise after winning a couple of races and getting named the fastest animal in the entire kingdom. The horse was always irritated by the donkey; he felt jealous when he heard anyone praise the donkey. The donkey, on the other hand, was content with what he had, never did he feel threatened by any other animal. The idea of the donkey becoming more popular than the horse made the horse so threatened and bothered. The horse mocked the donkey and called him names but the wise donkey was not bothered. He kept on helping other animals in the jungle solve their problems while minding his own. Every animal was shocked that nothing seemed to bother the donkey, he kept on doing his duties every day as if nothing was wrong. Even with all the animals talking behind his back, he still kept his cool. Although both the donkey and horse had different duties, the horse still viewed the donkey as a competitor. “What more could the horse want,” wondered the donkey, since he had everything and still kept on bothering the donkey. Deep down the donkey was sad and wondered if he deserved all the suffering for being perfect.

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Everyone has a tipping point, and the donkey had had enough. The donkey could no longer take the horse’s mocking and nuisance. It was too much to take at that point, and all he could think of was how to solve this problem. Could the donkey challenge the horse to a duel, race or could the donkey and the horse sit down and meditate under the supervision of the elders. So many things ran through his mind, and he could not figure out what to do. He thought that if he challenged the horse to a race, the horse would obviously win, and if he chose the duel, the horse would still win. Mediation was his best alternative, since no competition was involved, just peaceful negotiations. “Tomorrow I will confront the horse,” the donkey thought to himself as he went to bed. The next morning the he was full of questions, “what if the horse does not agree? What will I do? How will I resolve this conflict?” the donkey wondered. He was worried whether the horse was going to accept his proposal, everything about the horse just puzzled him. “A coward dies many times,” he whispered gently. “Let him know your stand,” he thought to himself. “what if?” another voice in his head asked, “No, no what if! make your decision now.”

He then gained the courage to face his fears and walked to the horse’s quarters asking to speak to the horse. However, when he got to the quarter’s nobody listened to him. It was like the horse had directed all his servants not to speak to the donkey, but the donkey was patient and persistent. He waited outside for a whole day, and still, the horse ignored his call. The donkey even resulted to shouting and asking for help from his friends. The horse got so tired of the noise that he let the donkey in. “What has brought you here?” asked the horse. “Why are you still here making noise outside my house.” The donkey did not reply; he kept quiet until the horse was done talking and embarrassing him. “I just need to know if we could sit and talk to find a way to end this hatred between us,” the donkey uttered in a soft, calm voice. The horse burst into laughter, “Ha! Ha! Ha! what do you mean!” the horse exclaimed as he disgustingly looked at the donkey. “What do you want to tell me that I do not know?” the horse said in a high sarcastic tone. The donkey, however, feeling embarrassed, gained courage and he gave the horse the options he had to help solve the conflict. The horse, being the selfish animal he was, chose the race, “nobody is faster than I, I will win,” he praised himself. All the animals vouched for the horse, and none bet on the donkey. The horse and the donkey decided they would race around the kingdom and the one who wins the race would be superior to the other. The horse was so quick to judge that he was the sure winner even making the other animals write poems of praise. “Oh, Hail the fastest animal in the kingdom,” the horse said, “I must win, the donkey is too slow.”

Months before the race, donkey started preparing for the contest. On the other hand, the horse was so lazy and so sure that he would win the race that he spent his time lying in bed all day. The horse’s friends would advise him to practice, but all was in vain. The horse would not listen or would say he would do it tomorrow. Soon, rumors spread through the jungle like wildfire that donkey had practiced so much but no one believed that the horse could lose. However, the horse felt threatened but still kept on postponing his practice. “I know, I know, tomorrow is still a good day to practice,” the horse comforted himself each passing day. “Why don’t you just find time to practice,” horse’s friends advised him. “But I can do it tomorrow,” the horse replied: “let me exercise at my pace; besides, I am faster than that slow, useless donkey.” A few days before the race, the horse started panicking and thinking of all the time he wasted doing nothing. “If only I had practiced earlier,” he said with regret. The horse started doing things in a rush, trying his best to be fit for the race. Little did he know that it was too late to do anything, time had flown by leaving him unprepared. The day of the race arrived. The horse was nervous, while the donkey felt that he had done enough to at least challenge the horse. They both started the race, the horse taking the lead and the donkey following behind. After running for a distance, the horse became tired and started lagging behind. “Slow and steady wins the race,” the donkey whispered as he ran past the horse. The horse was so tired he could not run any longer, and he had to quit the race. The donkey kept on with the race till the end and won the race without no competition. The animals praised donkey and laughed at the horse for losing the race. If only he had practiced when he had the time. Moral of the story: one should avoid procrastination.