The Donkey and the Hyena

Before you read the story 

  • This is a story about people that you cannot trust.
  • Do you trust your friends?
  • Do your friends trust you?
  • Are you careful when you make new friends?
  • Do you know anybody who wants to hurt you?

Now read the story

Long ago, the hyena lived in the sky. Every night she opened her mouth and began to sing. She sang very loudly. Everyone on the earth below could hear her.

The donkey heard the hyena too.

"Who is singing like that?" she thought. "What a beautiful voice! I want to meet her. I want to be her friend."

So the donkey prayed to God.

"Please," she prayed, "please bring the animal with the beautiful voice down to earth."

God heard the donkey's prayer. He sent the hyena down to live on earth.

The donkey ran up to the hyena at once.

"Hello," she said. "I'm the donkey. I want to be your friend."

"Aha," the hyena thought. "A nice, fat little donkey. She looks good to eat."

But then she saw the donkey's long ears and she was afraid.

"What long, sharp horns!" she thought. "I must be careful."

She said to the donkey, "Why don't we play a game together?"

The donkey was very happy.

"I like playing games," she said.

"I want to play football," said the hyena, "but there's just one problem. You're carrying weapons on your head. They're dangerous. Take those long, sharp horns off and we can begin the game."

The donkey laughed.

"Horns?" she said. "I haven't got any horns. These are my ears. And they're not sharp at all. They're quite soft. Come here, and see."

So the hyena came close to the donkey and she bit off both her ears.

"Stop! Stop! What are you doing?" cried the donkey. "I want to be your friend."

"You stupid animal," the hyena said. "I'm a hyena. Hyenas eat donkeys. I can't be your friend. Now come here and let me eat your tail, too."

But the donkey ran away into the forest. She was very unhappy. She was afraid, too. She didn't want to come out of the forest. She knew the hyena was waiting for her.

Evening came, and the donkey was thirsty.

"I must drink," she thought, "or I'll die."

Very quietly, she went to the river. She bent her head and began to drink. Then she heard the hyena's angry voice.

"Hey, you! Donkey!"

The donkey looked up.

"Why are you drinking from my river?" the hyena said. "You're making the water dirty with your feet."

"But you're above me," answered the donkey. "The water's coming from you to me. It's clean up there."

"No it isn't," said the hyena. "You're making it dirty up here, too."

"That's impossible," the donkey said.

"What do you mean, impossible?" said the hyena. "Are you trying to start a fight with me?" 

Then the donkey understood.

"I know you want to eat me," she said sadly to the hyena. "I understand that now. But please don't try to make excuses."

So the hyena jumped up and began to chase the donkey.

"You were foolish, my little fat friend," she said. "I was your enemy, but you showed me your weakness." 


 Exercises for The Donkey and the Hyena


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