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.