THE THREE DONKEYS
St. Peter said to Gabriel,
‘Ive just heard from the Lord.
He wants space reserved for donkeys
Who need to be restored.
You must set it up wherever
The grass is fresh and green
With shelter from the burning sun
And streams of
“You are to search the world to find
Through ages without end
All the overworked and weary
Who’ve been to man a friend.
You will lift from them their burdens
And give them strength anew
Where no stick shall ever beat them,
My servants old
“Any owners who have loved them
With raucous bray they’ll greet.
In what better spot than heaven
Should tested old friends meet?”
Then Gabriel said, “Please tell the Lord,
That nothing shall they lack
Who have carried heavy humans
Upon a willing
In such a place it chanced one day
Three donkeys met to graze
And standing ‘neath the leafy trees
Remembered former ways.
Said one, “I vividly recall
The road to Bethlehem.
Three days and nights across the hills
I gladly carried them”.
“But who were they?” the second asked,
Whereat the first beast smiled,
“I heard Joseph call her Mary —
And she was great with child”.
“Then it was I”, the second said,
Whom Joseph did employ.
I carried her to Egypt once
To save her little boy”.
They both turned now towards the third,
And asked, “Why look so sad?”
“Because”, cried he, “I still recall
When I was young and glad.
No man had ever ridden me,
A colt, unbroken, wild,
But one Spring day there came a man.
So strong and yet so mild”.
“To Jerusalem from Bethany
He rode me like a king
While cheering crowds palm branches waved
And did Hosanna sing.
It felt so good to have him there.
I would have died for him.
The memories of his majesty
Will never fail or dim”.
“And was he crowned?” one donkey asked.
“Did you his glory see?”
“Not so, alas!” the third replied—
“They hanged him on a tree!”
Copyright © 2000 [Rev. C. Champneys Burnham]. All rights reserved.