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12 April, 201412 April, 2014 0 comments Uncategorized Uncategorized

The Pack Mule
by Martin Dougherty

Once upon a time, there was a pack mule named Marty. He was a stupid thing, with only half a brain and very little common sense. Though he was dumb, he could still carry quite a burden for his Master Salvino.

He carried it with glee, for he knew his Master was a good and kind soul. Even though he could carry a burden, he did it in his own way, which was often not the way his Master had commanded. Marty was a headstrong mule, and he thought he knew better how to carry a burden.

The kind Master looked upon the poor pack mule with pity. "Stupid creature," he would say, "do you not see you take on too much? When you take on so much, you will surely drop things along the way."

"I can do it all," the donkey would say, "I want to do it all, kind Master. I know I can, just you watch me."

Sure enough, the stupid mule would drop things here and there, as his Master had predicted. He went back to his Master to apologize for his carelessness.

"I should listen," said the donkey. "I'm so sorry for not doing as you told. I promise I will listen from now on, and I will do as I am told."

"Are you sure?" the kind Master asked the stubborn mule.

"Oh, yes." said the mule. "I will. I live to serve."

The next day, the mule packed on too much grain to carry in one trip. He lost half of his load on the way from the granary to Master Salvino's house. The stupid pack mule realized his mistake, so he hid the empty grain bags under a rock, and delivered the bags that were still full.

The Master, however, knew of His servant's deed. "You stupid, half-assed creature." The good Master said. "You have tried to hide your fault from Me. If you try to deceive Me, you are good for nothing."

The mule begged his Master for mercy. "I live to serve." he said. "Please let me do so; I can do better."

"How many more times shall I give you mercy?" said the Master. "How many more opportunities shall I give you, and how many more times will you fail?"

"I won't fail again." the Mule said. "Give me a chance to prove my love and devotion to you, and you will not be disappointed. I live to serve you, and you alone."

The Master had pity on the Mule once more, but, before He sent the Mule off to do his work, the Master said, "Remember, you are but a mule. You must do well that which you have been given, and do not stray from your noble task. Your lot in life is given by Me, and by Me alone."

The Mule went off, taking every care to follow his Master's every word. He packed unto himself the right number of bags, and carried them to the house of the Master. Along the way, the stupid Mule dropped a sack of grain. He only found out once it was too late.

The donkey went to the Master. "I have dropped a bag," the Mule said, "and I have failed again. I guess I am not worthy to be in your service."

The Master said to the Mule, "Stupid Mule. Do you not know my Mercy to those who honestly seek it?"

He forgave the Mule, and charged him to be more careful in the future. The Mule did so, and finally learned how to serve his Master well, even if he still dropped a load or two every now and then.


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Short Stories by Martin Dougherty

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