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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Donkey And His Carrot: An Ass Hope Fable

Once upon a time, there lived a young and lively donkey in a little town that was constantly growing in trade and industry. His name was Ah Dong.

Since young, Ah Dong has heard many stories of donkeys and their place in the world as hardworking asses. The more he heard heroic stories of yore, and how his little town grew because of unwavering hardworking fellow donkeys, the more he became proud of his kind. He always knew that he had a place in society.

The donkeys who've laboured hard would always almost certainly be rewarded with their carrots. If they worked particularly hard, the carrot was much bigger. Sometimes, the carrot was so huge, the donkeys would bring it home to share with their donkey families. Or so it seems... ...

Anyway, Ah Dong grew up to be a strong and clever donkey. He made sure he worked hard and he worked smart.

Now, there was only one place to work for all donkeys, and this was at the local flour mill. Here, donkeys of all shapes and sizes would be - proudly - hooked to a stone mill. For 8 hours a day, the donkeys would be milling wheat. Sometimes they worked the extra hours to make more flour. But the donkeys were always assured of same bite-sized tiny carrots at the end of the day.

When Ah Dong came of age to work, it was only natural for him to work at the mill.

It was boom time when Ah Dong worked at the mill. The mill was a very well-known mill. In fact, it was part of a gigantic conglomerate of mills. The mother-of-all-mills was situated in the Land of Plenty, and it was called MILLion. It was doing so well that almost every month, MILLion would be buying over other mills from all over the world!

To make things more exciting, the little town where Ah Dong worked had a super bumper crop of wheat and super high demand for wheat flour. And that's because some clever academic in the higher chain of order claimed that wheat flour could last a thousand years. But that's another story. Anyway, the mill that Ah Dong worked at had to churn out the super supply of flour to meet the super demand for wheat flour. All the donkeys were ecstatic because they knew that a huge carrot would be waiting for them at the end of the day. And they would be part of the world's largest producer of wheat flour! Or so they were told... ...

Donkeys at Ah Dong's mill worked very hard. Sometimes they sacrificed their lazy weekends to produce more wheat flour. More and more wheat came. Sometimes there was good wheat; sometimes there was bad wheat. Whatever it is, they all came in huge quantities. Donkeys being donkeys, they just milled the wheat into flour regardless of wheat quality.

Day-in, day-out. Milling and milling.

Then one donkey asked, "Where is the carrot?"

The other donkeys stopped. Some questioned. Others just muttered, "You can't see it? It's right in front of you!". It's true. Each donkey had a carrot tied to the end of a stick, which was attached to the front of his head. The donkeys were told that they would eventually get the carrot at the end of the stick. So the donkeys just kept milling, including Ah Dong.

Most donkeys were told that a big fat carrot was coming their way. But they never saw it. All they saw was the same old wrinkled tiny carrot at the end of their own stick. There was talk that other mills were giving out bigger carrots. The potato mill was rewarding donkeys with radishes. The tapioca mill was giving out radishes AND sugarcubes! Then there's the corn mill that was rewarding carrots 3 times the size of what the wheat mill was offering! But the donkeys at the wheat mill were unfazed. They kept working hard and keeping the faith.

They continued to trudge on. Many donkeys were getting sick. Some of them developed knee problems; some had respiratory problems. Others began to develop problems in the family, for they were spending too much time milling and milling.

One day while milling, Ah Dong caught sight of a huge mountain of carrots! There were other donkeys that saw the huge mountain of carrots too! For a split second, THERE WAS HOPE!

Then they saw a well-groomed donkey emerging from behind the mountain of carrots. He had a cigar in his donkey mouth and he wore a branded Ardonki suit. He was obviously a very rich happy donkey who was high up in the order of asses. Then this rich donkey put up a sign on top of the mountain of fresh succulent carrots.


And the donkeys all lived very tired lives, overworked with the same old wrinkled carrot at the end of their stick.

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