Killed by a Donkey

There’s a statement that’s been floating around for a few decades now suggesting that more people are killed by donkeys than die in plane crashes. I don’t know if that is indeed true, but there are those who hold to this premise. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that anyone actually keeps track of such things as donkey-cides, so no one knows for sure. We seem to keep track of everything else, so I’m not sure why we don’t have anaccurate count on this phenomenon.

I saw a Tweet recently which stated, “Donkey’s kill more people annually than plane crashes. If you find yourself on a plane with a donkey, you’re screwed.” That may be–but finding myself on a plane with a donkey might be more unpleasant than death itself—screwed either way.

I’m sure the ADMS would have quite a differing view than mine (the American Donkey & Mule Society—yes, it’s actually a thing—check it out). They love these amazing critters and defend them to the hilt. Still, being killed by a donkey is a real possibility (if not all that common). I looked up an article from 2012 that chronicled the death of a south Texas mayor due to a donkey attack. Sounds implausible, but it seems to have happened nonetheless.

All Things Donkey

If you want to keep up on all things donkey, I recommend the mule-lovers magazine, The Brayer. I’m not sure if it’s still in print, but my guess is that one could, at least, obtain a few copies of some prime back issues.

Then, of course, there’s the ultimate in goodvibes for the Equus Africanus Asinus (ass for short)—the Bible. Scripture tendsto give these somewhat stubborn creatures decent press coverage. Take, forexample, the story of Balaam.The Bible tells us that his donkey saved his life. As the incident unfolded,his donkey actually spoke to him—quite argumentatively, I might add.Interestingly enough, Balaam calmly carried on an intelligent conversation withthe beast of burden. This unnamed animal was apparently the ancient precursorto the famous Mr. Ed (or more likely, Francis the Talking Mule of cinema fame).

An Air of Humility

A more popular Bible passage (particularly around the celebration of Palm Sunday) is the account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey (John 12:12-17). It is significant that the King of Glory would choose to be conveyed by a lowly Equidae rather than its more esteemed cousin, the horse. A noble steed of war would have given him more gravitas as he rode into town. The common donkey merely lent him an air of humility—apparently the preferred aura of the Savior at the time of His arrival.

Donkeys were considered so important in Scripture that they were occasionally included (and counted) alongside their owners when a census was being taken (Ezra 2:64-67). This Ezra account (along with its counterpart in Nehemiah 7:69) reported a total of 6,720 of them. I wonder if those folks subscribed to The Brayer.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.