Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Fable of the Donkey in the Well

Last week I went to Chicago for the family sessions at the end of my son's aphasia program at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.  What a wonderful program!  What great speech pathologists!  I'm amazed at my son's progress but even more impressed by his attitude and determination to improve and keep improving his language skills. 

Few people are aware of the effects of stroke on all aspects of language:  listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Few people have ever heard of aphasia.  It's a devastating problem, but with good therapy, people can get better...and better.

During one of the family sessions, someone read us the story of the donkey in the well.  Here it is:

Once upon a time there was a donkey.  It was a stupid, stubborn old donkey, and even the farmer who owned it didn't like it. 

One day the farmer heard the donkey braying loudly.  After looking all over, he found the donkey at the bottom of an old, abandoned well.  Exasperated, the farmer called his friends and asked them to come over and bring shovels.  He had decided to bury the stupid donkey in the well. 

As the men began shoveling dirt into the well, the donkey brayed in protest but after a while, he stopped.  The farmers kept shoveling.
Finally one of them decided to look into the well.  What he saw astonished him.  As each shovelful of dirt hit his back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up.  The farmers continued to shovel the dirt, the donkey continued to shake it off and soon he reached the top of the well, climbed out and trotted away.
So of course, the moral of the story is that no matter what life shovels at you, shake it off and take a step up.  That's what my son is doing.  No matter if life hands you aphasia or widowhood or loneliness, remember the donkey and shake it off and take a step up. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


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