Monday 22 January 2024

Not a fable - Flash Fiction Story by Roger Haydon

 



Not a fable


Flash Fiction Story

by Roger Haydon


A truly humble man and his son were leading their heavily laden donkey along a hot and dusty road to market. People driving past in shiny sports utility vehicles cried out:

‘I say, look, two people with a donkey.  How charming. Shouldn’t they be riding it?’

‘You are so right,’ said the truly humble man and told his son to climb upon the beast. As they continued along the hot, dusty road, people driving past in huge glistening three litre pickups cried out:

‘For goodness’ sake, look at that lazy boy actually riding while that poor old man plods along in this heat. Some children are so badly brought up these days. And isn’t that a donkey?  How quaint.’

‘You are so right,’ said the truly humble man and told his son to get down while he rode instead. As they continued along the hot, dusty road, people driving past in all-wheel drive cross country cruisers cried out:

‘Hey, look you guys, it’s a donkey, wow! And the boy’s walking along in this heat while the man rides. Such strange customs the locals have don’t you think?’

‘You are so right,’ said the truly humble man and told his son to sit behind him so they could both ride the donkey. As they continued along the hot, dusty road, people riding by on enormous throbbing motorcycles cried out:

‘Hey man, that’s seriously cruel. That poor animal in these conditions? No way should that be allowed. It is a donkey, isn’t it?’

‘You are so right,’ said the truly humble man. So, they both got down from the donkey and, with much effort, lifted the beast onto their backs. As they continued along the hot, dusty road, people riding past on all-terrain quad bikes with chrome plated fittings cried out:

‘Look at those two morons. Ride the thing you idiots.’

‘Do you know,’ said the truly humble man, ‘you are right. Why did we not think of that?’ So, they put the animal down whereupon it brayed donkey obscenities at all and sundry, kicked out its heels, dented a passing limousine and trotted briskly along the hot, dusty road back home with all the wares the truly humble man and his son had hoped to sell. The people cried out as one:

‘Riding a donkey to market indeed, whatever next? Get yourselves some wheels you savages.’

‘You are so right,’ said the truly humble man as his son stroked the chrome plated headlight of a Harley Davidson Electra Glide Highway King a few yards away, its engine rumbling on tickover.




Roger Haydon was born in London and has lived in the North East of England for nearly 50 years. He retired in 2012 after a mixed career including, latterly, senior management the National Health Service. Now he writes flash fiction, some short stories and the occasional poem and has been published online. He also takes part in story writing workshops for younger children, volunteers as a gardener and has an allotment on which he grows fruit, vegetables and wild flowers.  


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