English short stories ; Fables for Children
The Donkey and the Wolf
Thinking about life
We butchers have hard lives, the wolf thought to himself. All the other animals run away from us. They always think we will try to kill them. No one wants to be friends with a butcher.
The wolf, you see, did not think he was a wolf. He thought he was someone with a job. His job was to be a butcher. He killed animals for food. He was good at it. He and his family ate good red meat every day.
He knew that was his job, but he did not like it. I have always wanted to be a doctor he said. The wolf was sitting on the side of a hill. He was thinking about his life as we all do sometimes..
At the bottom of the hill there was a small farmhouse. There was a grassy field beside it. There was a donkey in the field. The donkey's head was close to the ground. It was busily eating grass.
Then the donkey looked up, and saw the wolf. It stopped eating. It stood still. Perhaps it was thinking. It began to walk towards some trees. It did not walk well. You would think, from the way it was walking, that it had a bad back leg. 'Now,' said the wolf that animal needs a doctor. I will try to help him.
Making things easier
The wolf got up. He walked down the hill to the trees. The donkey was still standing there. I thought you would come, said the donkey. You will soon be pleased that I did said the wolf. I noticed you have a bad leg. Perhaps I can help you. May I look? A thorn said the donkey. I was going to tell you: there is a sharp thorn in my hoof.
Well show me then. You must come close said the donkey. That thorn has gone right in. It really hurts. The donkey lifted his leg. The wolf looked at the hoof carefully. He could see no thorn. He looked closer. The donkey went down on his front knees. Thank you, said the wolf. That makes it easier for me to see. Easier for me too said the donkey. Then with both back legs the donkey gave the wolf a very hard kick in the face.
The silliest animal
Ow, screamed the wolf, jumping about, this way and that. The donkey began to jump about, too; but he was dancing. Hee-haw hee-haw laughed the donkey. You could see there was nothing wrong with his back leg. Nothing wrong at all.
The wolf's eyes were watering. He was in so much pain. Why did you do that? he shouted. Tricked you Tricked you you nasty old animal cried the donkey. I knew if I told you there was a thorn in my hoof you would want to get it out. You wouldn't want to eat a thorn, would you? I knew that would make you put your face right where I could give it a good kick. My plan worked, didn't it? You won't be eating me now, will you?'
Tricked me? By saying you had a thorn in your hoof? How foolish No one eats hoofs. If I wanted to eat you, a thorn in your hoof would not have stopped me. You are the silliest animal I have ever met. I was trying to help you said the wolf. The donkey looked at the wolf in surprise. He could not believe it.
He ran away to the other side of the field. The wolf watched him go. He felt sorry for himself. His mouth was hurting a lot. Worse still, the first time he had tried to be a doctor everything had gone wrong. The problem thought the wolf is that I look like a butcher. Because of that no one will believe I am a doctor. They will always think it is against my nature to be a doctor.