A lady rides the creature and learns something along the way.
Stepping backwards, a soft, moist sensation registers upon my skin. Turning around, a donkey was in front me, startled I shrieked.
'Don't fraid woman.' The voice came from a man atop a mount. Clothing was anything but exquisite, pants dirty, donning a hat, nothing ironed, complemented by a thin wheat stem sticking out his mouth.
Call me nuts entertaining the donkey judged better attired, rope on its neck, a sack containing the man's belongings slung on its side.
My discomfiture oozing out, I explained my car broke down, there was no help in the market and if not enough, need to get to the Star hotel. In my mind I thought time passes slow when you're in misery.
I got no grief, the rider acquiesced, without being said directly he knew the Star by his speech. My discomfiture caused me to ask anyway if he did. I clambered a bit clumsily atop his mount. Next hitting the animal's hide with the stick it responded, with each slow, steady step we began leaving the market.
The rider's course went along a dirt road, by now the market was left behind, its sights and smells. As my body shook mildly with each step, the superior social class in me tempted my sensibilities into thinking this beneath me. The ride or without his animal, prospect I'd be a mere pedestrian - fated to walk the road without an automobile.
No apology for startling me with a tongue was forthcoming.
For small talk communicated to his sole human companion the donkey was old and destined for baleful maws of zoo lions, that when he spent all he had saving it. The animal whinnied like a horse and tilted its ears.
'Why?' asked me.
He answered he felt the act of kindness was more human than how some other people had treated him himself. I remarked it would be something to own a beast of burden I suppose. The man clarified it's a bond; he was no owner but a partner in life.
Star was eventually neared, situated near bush and further away the sea. He really did know where to go - my failing again. Once in front a short time later, I alighted and offered him money for what I called the donkey ride. The man says payment should be calling his friend what they actually were - a mule not a donkey.
My countenance turned pink from embarrassment. I made amends too by admitting at first I disliked being reduced to using a mule ride. Nothing fazed that rider, all he did was smile sitting atop his friend.