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Don't give up


Suitable for Whole School (Sec)


Don’t give up

Many years ago a country miller discovered that his old donkey, that used to turn his mill, had somehow fallen down an abandoned village well. Although the animal cried pathetically for hours the miller decided that it simply wasn’t worth his while trying to rescue the old donkey. It would be much easier to buy a new one. The empty well had been unsafe for some time, and it was a miracle that some poor unthinking child hadn’t already met the same fate as the stranded donkey. This gave the miller an idea.

He asked his friends and neighbours to help him to fill in the well and, in so doing, bury the donkey. It was, after all, the most practical thing to do. Each person got hold of a shovel and began shifting earth into the well. The donkey understood what was happening and whimpered dreadfully. Then, to everyone's surprise, he abruptly stopped his crying. It was as though the donkey had resigned himself to his terrible fate.

Some time later, the miller looked down the well. He was amazed at the sight that met him. When each shovelful of earth hit the donkey’s back, the beast did something incredible. He threw it off and then stepped up onto it.

The people of the village continued to shovel dirt on top of the donkey, he continued to shake it off his back and take a step up. Eventually, an enormous amount of earth had been moved and the well was almost filled in. Then the donkey, much to the astonishment of the assembled crowd, stepped up over the edge of the well and happily jogged away!

Throughout your life you are going to get earth shovelled onto you. The key to getting over this is to throw it off and use it to take a step up. Each of our troubles is a like a stepping stone. We can find our way out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, by never giving up!

Publication date: February 2005   (Vol.7 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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