I never imagined myself on the lam. (Or is it “on the lamb”? I can never remember.) All I ever wanted was to live on pasture. Dozing in the summer sunshine, flicking flies off my nose with my tail. Listening to the symphony of the meadow. Singing birds, buzzing bees, chirping frogs to keep me company. Perhaps – when bored – trying to decipher the secrets whispered between the breeze and the broad canopies of the maple trees. A simple, pastoral life.
Until I met her. Everyone said we would never work. I was a donkey, she was a mule. I didn’t care. She was leggy, with a dark coat and long, velvet muzzle. She was also dangerous. Exciting. She thrived on risk and adventure, galloping and leaping fences. She was beautiful and carefree. Suddenly my life was dull in comparison. I needed to shake things up if I wanted her to notice me.
I tried kicking down the fence, breaking the sheep out of their confinement. Be free, I brayed. They eyed the opening nervously. Perhaps sheep aren’t into liberation these days. They just huddled together, nostrils flaring, tiny hooves stamping. Frightened. Sheep. I rolled my eyes. Something else then.
I tried holding a barnyard concert in her honor. I recruited the bullfrog from the pond to sing bass. A trio of bantam hens clucked out back up vocals. The aged milk cow stomped the percussion; that old gal has rhythm! I belted out a love song, from the depths of my heart. The music wrung me dry. When when the last notes faded, and The Farmer stopped shouting at us to shut up, I glanced around. Hoping the serenade moved her. She was nowhere to be seen. The pig snuffled a laugh. She jumped the fence at the first chorus, son. Said she was headed to the orchard to filch apples.
It was time for drastic measures. That’s how I found myself at the Federal Savings & Loans. The rotating door was a bit of a challenge, but I mastered it. I approached the teller with an old grain sack. Fill it up, lady! I bared my teeth. She seemed confused at first, maybe she didn’t speak donkey. However, after a few menacing kicks to the counter she cottoned on. When the bag was full, I whirled to make my escape. Sirens wailed in the distance and I nearly slipped on the smooth tile. How do humans walk on this stuff?
I fled through town, stray bills fluttering from my cache. My hooves clattered on the pavement, echoing off the tall buildings. Pursuit was close behind and my heart pounded. I had to reach the edge of town, lose myself in the trees. Then I’d be free. With enough cash to keep my love in carrots and sugar cubes for the rest of her life.
I dashed into the forest. The police car slid to a halt at the end of the road, stymied. I kept running until I was deep into the dark shaded wood. I slowed to a trot, a stumbling walk, before staggering to a halt. My sides heaved and I felt nauseated from the adrenaline. I wasn’t designed for these antics. And yet, I’d done it! I dropped my loot, swelling with satisfaction. Tomorrow, surely I’d be on the front page of the paper. She couldn’t help but be impressed by my daring caper. I wondered, belatedly, if she could read.