By Margo Wayman
Dabir, the gray donkey trudged through the pink sand, his back heavily laden with a load of dates. They were lying, still attached to their branches, on the blanket, which was draped across Dabirs back. His master stopped the donkey when they arrived at the ancient, crumbling stone, step pyramid. He tied the rope around Dabirs neck loosely, then tethered him to a wooden post that was sticking out of the sand.
Tourists were walking around the area, taking photos, and gazing up at its tiered shape, as if they were trying to imagine themselves back in time, viewing the days when the pyramid was being built. Although most of the pyramid was in ruins, there was something hypnotic about it, and the tourists felt this.
The hot, desert wind blew sand all over the donkey. Annoying flies buzzed around his eyes and mouth, trying to get a little moisture, a rare commodity in the dry arid air. The master unloaded all the dates off of his back, took the blanket off him, and let him stand there. He then put a bucket of water down for Dabir to drink from.
Dabir swatted the thick mass of flies away from himself with his tail.
After a while he became bored. The loose rope easily came undone when he tugged gently at it with his teeth, setting him free to do as he chose. He walked slowly around the step pyramid. Aside from the tourists, he didnt see anything much, except for a boulder. He walked over to check it out. There was something hanging from it that looked like a beehive. With nothing better to do, he stood and watched the bees flying in and out of the beehive. This didnt hold much excitement for Dabir, so he started kicking a rock around. It was lying on the ground near his hoof. He kicked it hard and it flew a few feet across the sand. He kicked it harder, and harder, sending the rock flying through the air. It went up, and up, and up. When it came back down, it flew right into the beehive, knocking it down to the ground. It burst open, sending the bees frantically flying into the hot suffocating air. For a few minutes they flew around confused, not knowing what to do, then suddenly they gathered into a swarm and came after Dabir the donkey. Where could he go? "HEE HAW!" He kicked up his back legs and started to run around the pyramid. When he turned back to have a look, he saw that the bees were still following him. Finally, after running around the pyramid ten times, the bees gave up and flew off to build another beehive.
Dabir was tired. He stopped and rested in the shade of a date palm. As he stood there, he looked around. Not far away was a herd of camels. They were lying in the sun, enjoying themselves, doing nothing. Dabir walked over to them. The camels ignored him. He wanted to play with them so he started trotting through the sand, going around and around the herd. All he managed to do was kick up sand, which flew into the camels eyes. They began to be annoyed with him. One camel tried to bite him, another spit at him, but he wouldnt go away. Finally, the dust was so annoying to the camels that they got up and started chasing him. Dabir thought they were playing with him, so he brayed loudly, "HEE HAW!" He kicked up his back legs and ran towards the step pyramid. The camels followed, chasing him away. After only a few minutes, the camels stopped and went back to lying in the sun, but Dabir kept running towards the step pyramid. He ran around it, and around, and around. After running around it about seven times, he noticed the camels were not chasing him anymore. He was tired so he walked slowly over to the date palm and sat down in the shade to rest.
He looked over towards the river and noticed a group of crocodiles lying in the mud on the riverbank. He stood up and walked over to them. There were four or five very large crocodiles, and they were all sleeping. Dabir wanted to play with them, but they wouldnt wake up, so he began to bray. "HEE HAW! HEE HAW! HEE HAW!" One or two of the crocodiles open their eyes to see what was going on, but shut them again. Dabir wanted to play with them so he kicked his back legs up in the air and went, "HEE HAW! HEE HAW!"
The largest crocodile was fed up with this. He wanted to sleep, not to be annoyed by a pesky donkey, so as Dabir stood there braying and kicking, he moved closer. Suddenly he opened his jaw wide and snapped it shut right near Dabirs legs. Dabir stopped making noise when he realized the crocodile was trying to eat him. He was terrified. He turned and ran back towards the step pyramid. The crocodile chased him a little bit longer. Dabir ran around, and around, and around the pyramid five times before he realized the crocodile had gone back to the river to sleep.
Dabir was very tired now. He went over to the side of the pyramid where his master had left the water for him to drink. He was lapping it up when the master came back. He put Dabirs blanket on his back, then started piling goods onto it. Dabir just stood there and waited until he was loaded up. The master grabbed the rope and tied it around Dabirs neck. He pulled at it to start going. Dabir was too tired to walk all the way back to the oasis. The master pulled again. Dabir wouldnt budge. The master pulled harder. Dabir stood firm, tugging against the rope. He broke loose and started to run. The master followed him, calling his name angrily. Dabir ran around the pyramid. All the goods fell off his back. He ran around, and around, and around the step pyramid with the master chasing him, screaming at him in a rage.
The bees stopped mending their beehive and watched. They began to laugh and buzz loudly. The camels that were lying in the sun looked up and watched. They laughed when they saw Dabir and his master. The crocodiles by the river laughed when they saw what was happening.
That night as the sun set, the step pyramid was silhouetted in black against the red sky of dusk, as were Dabir the donkey and his master as they still ran around, and around, and around, the pyramid.
Last Updated: July 5th, 2011