Donkey, Dog And Master– A Very Gentle Fable
a poem by Raj Arumugam
Come, listen all -
listen to a very gentle fable
Of Donkey, Dog and Man
and the friendship amongst these three
Donkey and Dog are loyal servants;
they’ve served the same master
all their lives
It’s night now and
Donkey and Dog sleep
in the courtyard
while Master snores in the house
A thief sneaks in
through the gate
and donkey whispers
as gently as he can:
Hey, dog…There’s an intruder;
Why don’t you bark and let master know?
And the old Dog growls as
quietly as he can:
Why don’t you bray aloud
and raise the alarm?
Hey, but you’re the dog
and you’re man’s best friend,
Donkey whispers in the dark
Man’s best friend, eh?
But is man the dog’s best friend?
I’ve served the master for ages
and now that I’m old he neglects me
and is talking about taking another dog.
I bet he’ll have you skinned alive
when you’re dead!
To the dogs with him!
You bray if you like.
Oh I’ve never seen
a more ungrateful being,
Master is the best
and though he treats us harsh
it’s all for our own good.
But your ingratitude offends me
and for the sake of decency and justice
and for all the values I hold dear
I shall have to do a watchdog’s duty instead.
And with that
the donkey brays aloud
and the cacophony is heard
in all the village
and the thief runs away as quickly as he can;
and the master comes running out with a huge stick
and seeing the donkey braying madly
with no cause but its own stupidity
the master beats the donkey well and proper
till all his own hands ache
and he goes back to bed
And now Dog and Donkey
lie down again together in the courtyard
and Dog says to the quiet Donkey:
Looks like you just found out
how it feels to be man’s best friend!