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1 Donkey, 2 Dogs

Prospectors in what was then the "Pikes Peak" region (Public Domain image)

Okay, if you scroll down one entry, you will see that I am looking for the literary source of particular Donkey story I heard in a sermon, and ALSO discuss a CREEEEPYYYYYY quote from a Stephen King Novella surfacing on a local dessert menu.

File under Weird-encidence: Bridgette linked to a Prospector’s donkey story in an interview about gaming. Here is the whole original post, but I quote the relevant bit below.

There’s a story about a pair of donkeys tied to a hitching post in a frontier town. One is the pet of a little girl, who rides it every day and feeds it carrots. The other is a prospector’s donkey, loaded to the gills with ore, equipment, and food. This second donkey’s back is bent from the weight it has carried for years. The first donkey looks at the second and says, “That’s quite a load you got there!” The second donkey say[s], “What load?”

I re-Googled, using the word PROSPECTOR, and found a book with the Donkey Story in it. Crazily enough, the donkey story is ALSO found in a Stephen King novel. Cue the Twilight Zone Theme. You like it. It likes you. This is from The Dead Zone:

Two donkeys meet at a hitching rail in a western town. One of them is a town donkey with nothing on his back but a saddle. The other is a prospector’s donkey, loaded down with packs, camping and cooking gear, and four fifty-pound sacks of ore. His back is bent into a concertina shape from the weight. The town donkey says, That’s quite a load you got there. And the prospector’s donkey says, What load?

This Donkey Story that I heard in a sermon and that six of you found on various blogs and in an interview and in another sermon, all slightly different, is ALSO in a Stephen King book.

Now this is a chicken/egg (or perhaps 7-Up Slogan/Novella) problem. Did King make it up and has it entered the world of sermons and blogs and internet gaming arguments as a folktale because King is so ubiquitous, or did King find it and bend it to his purposes?

Also, I love him. I just LOVE him. Do you know how many of my novels reference King books? Thalia in TGWSS references The STAND more than once. In Backseat Saints, King’s Eye of the Dragon is the story library book that gets re-stolen.

Meanwhile, in other animal news, I’ve been working very, very hard to take better care of the animal my brain rides around in. AKA My body.

I’m trying to put a lot of fruit in it, to escort it to yoga for meditation and movement, to put in a little less sugar and a little less bourbon, and to ONLY let it watch HGTV if it is simultaneously paddling an elliptical at the YMCA.

It is important to be nice to it because I live in it. I am it. Taking care of it lowers my VERY HIGH Mental Illness Number by making my brain parts dump a less tempestuous storm of hormones into my blood parts—-in short, I am happier internally AND more pleasant externally when I eat right and exercise.

But last night, I was churning and frothing and stressing out about every terrible thing that could possibly happen, ever. I could not shut it down. I was tossing and flopping, trying to sleep with my brain inventing horrific scenarios that might happen to those I love best, envisioning terrible outcomes for myself and all those I love.

The dogs, longsuffering, stared up at me from the foot of the bed, wishing I would settle already, as they had to prep for their busy daytime napping schedule with a good night of solid sleep.

Unable to turn my brain off, I stomped downstairs and threw 100 million corn chips on a plate, drenched them in cheese and taco sauce, then nuked the whole thing until the cheese melted. I dragged the plate back to my bed and began crunching at it sourly, trying to drug myself into torpor with a load of fat and salt.

I ate about four bites before reason kicked in.

I was undermining myself and my long range goals for a crap plate of improvised crap nachos. If I was going to SPLURGE, fine, but I was not going to take CRAPPY STALE-ISH CORN CHIPS as some kind of deep fried medication for my sad wittle feewings. If I was going to eat a load of fat and salt, it should DARN well be something wonderful and WORTH the calories.

I was going to throw them out, but OH the longing, drooling looks of hope and desperateness coming from the foot of the bed moved my heart. Beloveds, I put the nachos down the dog-sposals. Yes. ALL of them.


I slept, if you can call it that, in a noxious palpably green cloud of poisonous nacho-flavored dog fartage.

MORAL: Junk food WILL kill you, one way or another.

7 comments to 1 Donkey, 2 Dogs

  • Linda J

    That is EXACTLY why I don’t feed my old man chili…so I can sleep. Even then…I don’t see how he can sleep in the stink he makes!

  • Shelley

    “Now this is a chicken/egg (or perhaps 7-Up Slogan/Novella) problem. Did King make it up and has it entered the world of sermons and blogs and internet gaming arguments as a folktale because King is so ubiquitous, or did King find it and bend it to his purposes?”

    Dare you to email and ask him. 🙂

  • But who could resist those faces? Those eyes? Granted, cheese can bind them up and their pooping could become legendary, but there ya go.

    It’s also vaguely reassuring that mine is not the only brain that goes down the “what if it went REALLY bad” rabbit hole at night. I totally get the concept of night terrors, except mine happen in that space between wide awake and sleep. My fatstuffing default then is Red Vines.

    I think Shelley’s right — email Mr. King and ask. I bet he’ll answer you. You’re world famous too, y’know.

  • I’m a bit creeped out that Mr. King has also used the donkey story..que Twilight Zone music.
    Never feed the dogs things that might similarly give you gas…um, not that you would do that…but you know maybe your husband.

    I cannot wait to see you at the Decatur Book Festival….how many days now? 🙂

  • Gaylin

    There is a really good reason why I don’t keep anything junk-food like in my apartment because I would eat it. At least there is no one else here to smell the possible results.

    I take a lot of Vitamin B, it helps smooth out the hot flashes (whew), a lovely side effect is less brain buzz!!! Woohoo.

  • Grace G.

    Why do we do this? I do the same thing, if I wake up in the wee hours of the morning, I always wind up flailing and tossing, tossing and flailing, flopping for a comfortable position, all the while I imagine the most unbelievable scenarios that will probably never ever never, could never ever probably ever, EVEN happen in this world or any other, for myself, my husband, my immediate family, my cat?? Why???

    If I’m able to reason myself back to sleep, I wake up thinking “What the heck?!”

    It must be a form of middle age/middle of the night insanity.

  • Carrie (in MN)

    Hmmm, my middle-of-the-night default is guilt, not worry. My brain starts humming through my to-do lists and before you know it the little jerkbrain in my head (h/t http://www.captainawkward.com)is berating me for not getting x,y and z done. And why didn’t I see this problem with kid A,B or C coming and prevent it? Pretty soon I’m wretched and THEN, my stomach wakes up and decides it’s hungry. Hate that.