An Ass

Josh was a mule, and a pretty mule at that.

He was reasonably tall (for a mule) and strong, with wide grey shoulders and a determined mind. His bridle was more for show than anything, but Josh embraced it, held it as a point of pride that he would be given something so nice, just to make him look that much prettier.

“Hop on for a ride, folks, ten bucks a pop!” the barker called. Josh looked at him, then shrugged, at least in so far as a mule can shrug.

Several young children screamed, a dog barked in the distance, and an old man harrumphed and walked away. One parent held out a ten dollar bill, and the barker grabbed it and lifted the child onto Josh.

Josh started walking, making a short circle of the pen. At the end of the circle, he stopped, and the barker pulled the child away.

“Is that it, one round?” the parent said.

“Ten bucks a ride, and when Josh here’s done he’s done. Ten bucks for another, maybe he’ll be generous.”

The parent cursed at the barker and left, and the next one came forward with their cash. Josh took another child for a ride – not a fun one, certainly not for Josh, but it was enough for the child.

Round and round Josh went, happy to be admired by his adoring fans, even if he had to work for it.


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