Balaam and the Donkey
By Franice Stirling
Donkey: Hello, everyone.
Narrator: Who said that?
Donkey: I did. Heehaw.
Narrator: You! Donkeys can’t talk.
Donkey: Then you don’t know my story.
Narrator: I’d like to hear it. I think the students would, too. Wouldn’t you?
Donkey: Well, let me start at the beginning. When I was very young, I was bought by an important man. He would ride me to his various appointments. I was a very good donkey. I would walk very carefully when we went by a wall, so my master’s foot wouldn’t get bumped. I always kept my mind on my business and never wandered off the road to eat. Some other donkeys I know would balk and even lay down in the middle of the road, but I never did.
Narrator: It sounds like you took very good care of your master.
Donkey: I did. I was his very own donkey. He rode me for years. One day he had visitors from a place far away. In the morning he saddled me and we, along with a couple of servants, went with the foreigners. We hadn’t gone far when I saw an angel in the middle of the road trying to stop us.
Narrator: You saw an angel!
Donkey: Yes. He had a sword in his hand and he was very bright. My master didn’t seem to see him, so I went off the road into the field. I thought I was protecting my master, but he hit me and made me get back on the road.
Narrator: That must have been puzzling.
Donkey: That wasn’t the end of it, though. A little while later we passed through some vineyards with walls on both sides of the road. Again, I saw that bright angel with his sword. I didn’t know what to do; so I pressed against one of the walls to get as far away from the angel as I could. I totally forgot about my master’s foot and smashed it against the wall. So, he hit me again.
Narrator: Here you were trying to protect your master and you are getting beaten. Didn’t he see the angel, too?
Donkey: I guess not. The next time I saw the angel it was in the middle of a very narrow place, where I couldn’t turn left or right. I was so frightened; I just crumpled onto the ground, with my master still on my back.
Narrator: What happened then?
Donkey: My master was so angry, he beat me again. Then I couldn’t keep quiet any longer. All the thoughts I had came out in words.
Narrator: You actually spoke for the first time?
Donkey: Yes, I said, “Why have you beaten me three times?” Balaam, that was my master’s name, said, “You have embarrassed me in front of these people. If I had a sword, I would kill you right now.”
Narrator: That is awful!
Donkey: I was shocked, but I said, “I’m your very own donkey. I’ve carried you for years. Did I ever behave like this before?” And he answered me, “No.”
Narrator: A man having a conversation with his donkey. I wonder what the other men thought?
Donkey: All of a sudden Balaam jerked and got tense. Then I knew he could see the angel, too. He got off of me and bowed face-down on the ground. The angel first asked him about me. He said, “Why did you beat your donkey three times? I have been trying to stop you from doing this wrong thing. The donkey saw me and protected you. Otherwise, I would have killed you, but let her live.” Then Balaam confessed his sin to the angel.
Narrator: Did you finish the trip?
Donkey: Balaam offered to go back, but the angel said he could go ahead; however, he would not be able to curse God’s people. He would only be able to say what God wanted him to say.
Narrator: It must be good to know that God cared about you that much. I guess He cared about Balaam, too, and that is why He was trying to keep Balaam from doing something wicked.
Donkey: Yes, God cares for all his creation.