Donkey and Mutt

Photo: Barbara Smuts

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The Donkey and the Mutt
The Animal Version
Wister the donkey was known for his swift, vicious backside kick. Safi the loveable mutt was the only one on the ranch not deterred. As intimates, they ran "around like crazy, nipping each other's heels and necks...drinking from the same bowl and napping together."

The Human Version
He has two PhDs in ancient, moldy religions. She's a stay-at-home mother with three kids. At Sunday brunch with the neighbors, he lectures them all on obscure pagan rites, banging the table when anybody tries to make a point. After this, he bellows at the Democrat husband from down the block about Social Security. After that, he bellows at the Republican wife from up the street about Social Security.

Meanwhile, his beloved smiles sweetly, eating a bowl of banana pudding she made especially for him because he loves softy, creamy desserts. "Why is she with that blowhard?" many strangers ask. They do not understand, perhaps, that some bullies are bullies and some bullies are very tender folk whom life has, unfortunately, taught to buck and bray. Later, they may find out that when she had ovarian cancer, he quit his job and cared for her for two years, refusing to let even a nurse help with his wife's recovery.