This is one of my favorite stories. I first read it a couple of years ago when it perfectly described a group that I was managing at the time. We had just come through a challenging period and this became our theme that illustrated our victory against the odds.
So, what’s the story of the Donkey and the Well?
Once upon a time, there was a donkey.
It was a stupid, stubborn old donkey and even the farmer who owned it didn’t like him.
The farmer owned a large property and one day he heard in the distance the loud, distinctive “eye-ore, eye-ore” of the donkey. He wondered what the stupid donkey had done now, so he looked all over his property until at last he found the animal at the bottom of an old abandoned well.
Exasperated, the farmer rang his neighbours and asked them each to bring a shovel. He’d had enough of the stupid donkey, so he had decided to bury it in the well.
All of his friends came over and together they started to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey protested loudly, braying with all of his might, but after about 10 minutes, he stopped.
The farmers kept shovelling.
After a while, someone decided to have a look into the well to see what had happened to the donkey. What he saw astonished him.
Instead of being buried, the donkey would dodge the incoming dirt, standing on the ever-increasing mound.
Now the mission changed and the farmers went from trying to bury the donkey to trying to save him, shovelling more and more dirt into the abandoned well until he jumped out of the top victorious.
Upon his release, the farmers all dropped their shovels and applauded the old stubborn beast with a new found admiration.
There are times in life when it seems as though we are that donkey. Trapped and feeling as though life is trying to bury us. Don’t go under, but continue to find a way to overcome your challenges one at a time until you too emerge victorious.