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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: The Donkey Carrying Hard and Soft
By ThresiaPaulose varghese


Most of us might have heard the story of ‘a donkey carrying hard and

soft loads’. It is a very interesting story that my children enjoyed

frequently. Though I don’t know anything about the origin of that story, I

always think of the deep meaning it conveys.

The Donkey Carrying Hard and Soft Loads

Once there was a farmer who had a donkey which he used to carry loads

of vegetables and other things to the market. He would carry things to

the market loaded on the donkey’s back. The donkey would always

grumble and weep whenever the load was hard and heavy on his back

and would jump in joy when it was soft and light.

One day his master placed on the donkey’s back a sac or load of salt. It

was very heavy and it was very hard to carry it. He grumbled and cursed

his master for his cruelty to place such a hard luggage on his back. He

cursed his own condition and his ill luck to carry out such a hard duty.

The donkey walked slowly cursing his master and his own fate to do this

hard task.

On the way to the market there was a stream with only a little water

which had been easy to cross. After walking some distance, it began to

rain heavily and there was no place to rest. The master forced the

donkey walk fast.

When they reached the stream, there was more water in it and the salt

load was actually floating in water. Soon the donkey began to feel that

the heaviness of the load on his back was being reduced. The salt was

melting in the rain and the stream. It was a great relief and joy. The

donkey began to sing when the hard load became very soft.

Afer a few days, he had to carry a load to the market. This time it was

cotton. Even though the sac on the back looked very huge, the donkey

was very happy as the load on his back was very light and soft.

The walk to the market was a jolly dance since the donkey felt the load

extremely soft. But that day also it rained heavily and soon the cotton

load became too hard to be carried. Each and every step became a

great torture.

Should I narrate the story further? I leave it to your imagination and


Hard and Soft Loads in Our Life

Just imagine that we are also carrying such loads in the journey of our

day to day life. What is our reaction to carry them? Do we do the same

grumbling and cursing when we feel our life hard and burdensome? Or

do we realize the will of God in our life and proceed? Have we ever

thought of the words of our Lord Jesus who is ready to share our hard

life and make it soft?

We make our lives harder with our worries. We hesitate to think of the

words of Jesus, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what

you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear.

Is not life more than food and, and the body more than clothing? Look at

the birds of the air...” (Matthew 6: 25-26)

Jesus Makes Our Hard Life Soft

God wants us to be cheerful and happy. For that only he sent His son to

this world. Jesus assures us all happiness. That is why he calls us to

him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy

burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from

me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your

souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.(Matthew 11: 28-30)

Yes, he can make every hard thing in our life soft.

Let us make our lives soft and joyful

Cardinal Suhard says about our surrendering to God, “ Joy is the

infallible sign of the presence of God,” If we leave everything to God’s

will and if God is with us, what can make our life ‘hard’? He shares our

‘hard’ life making it ‘soft’.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/05/09
Interesting illustration--I'd never heard that story!
Yvonne Blake 05/06/09
Interesting story! Your message also made me think of the verse,"Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Well done!