Strange Comrades

He’d nudged her over and over again. But she hadn’t moved. It was her time to finally leave her shelter and go out into the meadow. It was bright and sunny, and when the grass was so covered in dew, it tasted almost the best. But none of that seemed to interest her. She just lay there and didn’t move. So, he stayed with her, even though the grass and the sun lured him outside. He didn’t care because he couldn’t go out without her. They had gone out together for as long as he could remember in his donkey life. In the morning. And returned in the evening. From day one.

It had been a day much like today, sunny and with dewy grass, but he was scared and alone. After all, he was still a very young donkey, almost a baby. He had just been with his mama, and the next moment he was being taken away and invited. Then it rumbled and jerked away. Everything had been so loud around him. That had scared him, very scared. He also took this fear with him when he was led to the new pasture. But then she came towards him and took him to her. He knew he didn’t have to be afraid anymore because he wasn’t alone anymore. It was as if she had been expecting him. He willingly followed her as she went ahead to show him the new pasture. From that day on they had never parted again. But now she just lay there and he wouldn’t leave her side.

Eventually the people came. More than usual. First, the bipeds looked at his mate. Then they took her away. He followed them to the gate. He wanted, he had to, stay with her, but he was sent away. What was he supposed to do without her? But maybe, he thought after a while, they would bring her back. He would just stay here by the gate and wait. So, he stood and waited. Day after day passed, but they didn’t bring her back. Now and then a man would come and bring him hay. But that didn’t interest him either. He just wanted his mate back. One of those two-legged creatures, a human he thought, petted him and gave him that look that seemed so sad. Can people be sad too? Then she said something too, but he didn’t understand it. Then she mostly shook her head, left and right and back, and walked away.

One day she came back, but she didn’t come alone. She was leading a small, frightened-looking creature behind her on a rope. It was really very small, but it walked on four legs, had fur and two small, pointed horns. So, it wasn’t a human, but it wasn’t a donkey either. He had never seen anything like it. The human brought the little one to him and spoke to him soothingly, but he would not be calmed. Which wasn’t surprising, because he didn’t understand her. It was time to intervene. The donkey who had lost his mate saw in this little creature one who had had the same fate as himself. He too was lost. So the lost donkey left his observation post and took care of this little billy goat whose mother had left him. Just like the donkey’s companion.

The little billy goat, which of course got bigger, but not much, as the donkey thought, was meticulously instructed in the customs that applied on the pasture. He showed himself willing and eager, so from now on they could always be seen together. So, two lost ones had become two who had found each other.

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