The Blind Donkeys

Guest Post by Sandy Powers

A massive volcanic eruption four thousand years ago formed Santorini, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.  Villages of white-washed dwellings perch the top of steep cliffs scattered throughout the island.   Just how steep I was about to discover.

            Our destination was the town of Thera, a village straddling a precipice above a small town at the bottom of one of these sea cliffs.  In order to reach Thera, you either climbed 600 steps or rode a donkey.  My youngest daughter, Kayle, and I chose the donkey.  My oldest daughter, Chrisy, and their father decided to undergo the ambitious task of climbing the 600 steps.  

Smug in our decision—after all, why climb when you can ride?—Kayle and I mounted the awaiting donkeys.  The first donkey, which had a rope tied around his neck, was mine.  The second was Kayle’s.   The craggy, weathered guide yanked the rope on my donkey to begin the climb and Kayle’s donkey followed.  As we ascended, the “path” became little more than a narrow ledge.  My donkey was edging closer and closer to the rim of the ledge.  His left hoofs, half on and half off, began kicking stones into the abyss below.

            “Isn’t my donkey a little close to the edge?” I asked the driver whose body melded with the cliff’s wall.

            “He’s sure footed,” he muttered.

            “Then why is his front hoof over the ledge?”

            The glare from the driver telegraphed “no questions allowed.”  From then on, we rode in silence.  Me–too scared to talk.  The driver–happy I was speechless.  Kayle– fearing for her life. 

After what seemed like eons, we finally reached the top.  Kayle and I quickly jumped off our donkeys, ran to each other, and hugged. 

            “I think my donkey is blind,” I whispered.

            “I think mine is, too,” Kayle whispered back.

            We tightly clasped each other’s hand as we went searching for Chrisy and Dad.  They were resting on a bench in the courtyard sipping cokes.

            “How was the donkey ride?” asked Chrisy between slurps.

            “Fine,” I answered without looking at Kayle.

            “Fine,” Kayle answered without looking at me.

            “Hmmm,” Chrisy, suspecting something was not all ‘fine,’ gazed intently at her sister’s pale face to ask, “Are you riding the donkeys down?”

            “No!” Kayle and I cried in unison, “We’re climbing down!”


Sandy Powers’ new release, Passage,  is a riveting true story of a seemingly ordinary housewife who leads a secret life as an undercover agent for the FBI, gathering evidence against groups planning violent overthrown of the American government.  Sandy is also the author of the award winning book, Organic for Health.  

Sandy and her husband, Mike, live in Florida where they enjoy time with their grandsons.     


Posted on October 5, 2011, in How To, Humor, Memoir, Short Stories, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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