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Mystery of the Infested Donkey


Growing up, one of my closest comrades was a stuffed donkey named ‘Donkey.’ I don’t remember when I got him. I must have been quite small. He was bigger than me (for a long time) and I slept with my head on his and my leg draped over his body. After years of this, Donkey was rather flat.

At six I had my first sleep over with a neighborhood girlfriend. I felt relieved when I woke before her. Embarrassed, I found myself with my head on her chest and my leg over hers…just like Donkey. I quickly moved before she realized it. I shared all my childhood thoughts with Donkey, my secrets and my tear-filled sorrows. Donkey was very special to me. One time when my brother became really angry at me I ran to my mother for safety, with Donkey in my arms. Before I could get more than a few words out, my brother ran in and bit Donkey in the neck pulling out all his hair in that one spot. As my brother turned to spit out his mouthful of fur, I screamed, cried and grieved over my poor stuffed friend. He didn’t destroy Donkey but that was the first place he began to show wear. Sigh, a constant reminder of that rage filled moment. But one of my most devastating moments with Donkey happened on the day I found tiny black bugs in his fur. Again, I ran to my mom telling her about Donkey’s condition. She informed me rather matter-of-fact, that I would need to throw him away. I cried my way back to my bedroom. “No, not Donkey. Please God, no.” I wept. After shedding many tears, I took a more careful inspection of Donkey’s fur. Earlier that day I had been playing with a little cloth swatch of black velvet. In the process, I must have pulled some of the loose edges off. They fell in little V shapes on my beloved nighttime buddy. They looked like tiny insects with wings. Mystery solved! In this new-found realization, my joy soared. Donkey was going to be okay. I didn’t have to throw him out. My mom’s less that unenthusiastic, “That's great, Stacey,” didn’t damper the happiness in my soul. As you can see in the photo (this is his good side), Donkey still lives. I’m not really sentimental over many things but Donkey still holds a special place in my heart.

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