Thursday October 29th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the donkey.

Feeling very sleepy. Should get this written and my butt to bed before the usual happens.


Richard was not your typical donkey. For starters, he never really seemed to care for hard work. He avoided it whenever possible and on those rare occasions we actually managed to get him to do it he wore an expression of such sheer, pure boredom that it was difficult not to laugh at him.

Play was not really his thing either. While the other donkeys were always keen to goof around with the farm hands, Richard would keep to himself. Usually not even watching the fun. But if he was? That same look of utter disinterest.

Was he smart? I suppose. It's not like we could give him an IQ test to prove it one way or the other. But if he did have any brains he sure did a fine job of keeping them secret.

Friendly? My goodness, no. Now don't get me wrong, it's not like he ever hurt anyone. On purpose. We think. He just clearly preferred his own company over the company of anyone else. I'd never say he was lonesome. Just comfortable and content in solitude.

None of this fully explains how different Richard truly was though. The thing that really marked him as an outsider, that made it clear that he was not, nor could he ever be, just one of the pack, well... you kind of had to see it to believe it.

I mean, honestly, would you just accept it as true if I told you that Richard walked around the farm on two legs?


Greg said...

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't believe you if you said your donkey walked around on two legs, but that's because I don't think they've got the back strength to manage it :-P Very nice build up, and the descriptions of Richard both kept me entertained and wondering what you were building up to. I think I might like Richard if I were ever to meet him, though if he were on two legs I might be a little scared too. Great work on creating his character there, it would be interesting to see this develop out a little more.
Oh, and does this mean you've bought a donkey for the farm for Max's birthday?

The donkey
"Norm. Norm!" Henry's shouting echoed around the lumber yard. Norm, a short man nearly as wide as he was tall, heaved a sigh that made him quiver like a dish of jelly. "You keep looking," he said to Martin, pointing towards the old whiskey barrels.
"Norm! Oh, there you are. What's this?"
Norm looked at the brown, shaggy animal stood behind Henry. Its ears were flattened against its long skull as though it hadn't liked the shouting much either. "It looks like a donkey," he said. "Can I get back to helping that kid with his smoker now?"
"Norm, what is a donkey doing in the lumber yard? Does is look like lumber to you?"
"It lumber around," said Norm, splaying his hands out in front of him and waggling his eyebrows. Henry stared at him, then turned to the donkey.
"It lumbers around," said Henry, almost under his breath. He ran a calloused hand over the donkey's rough, wiry coat. "It lumbers around." He turned back to Norm. "You'd better not have accepted this as payment."
"No, I swear," said Norm promptly. "It was wandering around – lumbering around – looking lost outside so I brought it in. I figured we could use it for carrying some of the heavier bits and pieces."
"What's wrong with the forklift?" Henry's words came out so fast it was like being shot at with speech.
"Nothing! Nothing, seriously. Jeez, Henry, have some faith. But the donkey comes without you having to go fetch, right?"
Henry opened his mouth, but then he considered Norm's shape. Watching him waddle across the yard could be entertaining at times, but he could see how Norm might not want to have to go back and forth getting the forklift and putting it back again. It made a certain kind of sense.
"Forklifts don't need feeding," he said.
"We've got three fields here we're not using he can graze in."
"He'll need shelter in winter. And no, he's not sharing the office. It's not big enough."
"I'll extend the office. If he's in there we'll save on heating."
".... Fine, he can stay. Go and get that kid seen to and there'd better be no more surprises for me today."

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, I could see Richard coming back for another visit or two...

Ah, deeply enjoyed this continuation. I'm impressed that you were able to continue the tone of normalcy despite the escalation of... uh... non-normalcy?

Strangeness is probably a better word to use.

Anyway. These two are great. I would definitely visit this lumber yard if I could :)