"Up the mountains we must go...."

“Up the mountains we must go….”

“Dear Tourists,

I guess the idea of a talking, literate donkey might come as a shock to some of you. A bit left field, maybe?

That always makes me laugh, especially when I look at the Houses of Parliament, or the House of Representatives. But enough chit chat; I haven’t got all damned day, so let’s get down to business here.

You wonder why I am so often bad tempered, plain mean at times? Well, allow me to take you through my daily routine.

Every day, I wake up and look out over the sea, and the first thing I see approaching is some giant cruise ship, carrying over three thousand people. People just like you. Damned things always look like a Death Star coming into sight from the surface of Endor. Often wish I could send ’em ‘Return to Endor’. Sorry, just a little donkey humour kicking in there.

It’s already damned hot, hotter than Satan’s breath, and the mountain side is a proper maze of steep, narrow lanes that get harder to navigate the older I get. The guys in charge of me? Hah. Some of them could give cruelty lessons to the bloody Gestapo. Money dances in front of their eyes like some Turkish hussy in a harem; better believe that they are blind to everything else.

Then, of course, you lot pitch up. In your thousands. A tidal wave of sun burnt, polyester clad, flabby jowled,  Indiana Jones wannabes. When you see me, you stop and stare. Your eyes narrow in a way that your fat, podgy. zeppelin hangar of an ass can only dream of. You back off a little. Then you gradually come forward, Wave after wave of you…

You look at me in disgust. Sure, my coat has seen better days. And yes, I’m being buzzed by squadrons of flies the size of stealth bombers. Which, by the way, does nothing at all to raise my joy factor. But you’re still staring at me with barely concealed disgust.


You. In your green and gold stretch kaftan, and your moth eaten flying saucer of a sun hat? You look like a badly wrapped easter egg that some UFO has crash landed on by accident. And you’re judging me? Lord. At least your husband managed to shave. Which is obviously more than you did, cupcake.

When you climb on to me, and your fat, overly fed twenty-three stone frame spreads across me like a jello tsunami, it literally feels like I’m carrying the weight of the world. You have all the artistic grace and agility of a blind gorilla in a tu-tu. I can hear my saddle whimpering from here.

And so,  off we go. If you’ve ever seen the stations of the cross, that’s what it feels like, carrying you and your mates up those long, winding lanes, one after another. Thirsty? You bet I am. With you on my back, I’m under more pressure than the late Luciano Pavarotti’s bathroom scales.

How did I get up there? Slowly. very slowly....

How did I get up there? Slowly. Very slowly….

But eventually, we get there. The summit. You get off, and the mid day heat sears me like a laser beam. Because the sole advantage of having your lardy carcass on top of mine was that it shielded me from the sun on both sides. Sure, we’re at the top of the hill, but don’t expect me to burst into song. I mean, do I look like Julie frickin’ Andrews to you?

And then I am taken back down. Down to where more of you await. So many more. And, as I try and swat yet another Frankenstein’s monster of a fly with my eyelashes, I see yet another cruise ship, looming up over the horizon. Has the damned Galactic Empire declared a public holiday today, or something?

So you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t go all gushy and sad when I see you go. Watching you sail off over the horizon is the highlight of my day. The only one. I often wonder why God chose to populate the Med with idiots, and not icebergs. No level playing field, that’s for sure.

Wanna brighten my day? Sweet. Give me a carrot. Get a diet. We’ll be fine.

Ah well. In the immortal words of Vivien Leigh, tomorrow, after all, is another day.


A Donkey.”