Photographer's Note

The word "donkey" (or its translation) often has derogatory or insulting meaning in several languages. It is used to mean someone who is obstinate, stupid or silly. In football, a player who is considered unskilful is often dubbed a "donkey", the term has a similar connotation in poker, in Flemish a donkey (ezel) is a term reserved for someone particularly dumb, stupid and stubborn.

Donkeys are the animals featured most often in Greek proverbs, including such statements of fatalistic resignation as "the donkey lets the rain soak him".

The French philosopher Jean Buridan constructed the sad paradox of Buridan's ass, in which a donkey, placed exactly midway between water and food, would die of hunger and thirst because he could not find a reason to choose one of the options over the other, and so would never make a decision.

Italy has several phrases regarding donkeys that are particularly offensive (not only to donkeys), including "put your money in the ass of a donkey and they'll call him sir" (meaning, if you're rich, you'll get respect) and "women, donkeys and goats all have heads" (meaning, women are as stubborn as donkeys and goats).

In Afghanistan, we find the Pashto proverb, "Even if a donkey goes to Mecca, he is still a donkey."

ALL THIS IS TERRIBLY UNFAIR! It's high time for some kind of Donkey Liberation Front!

Donkeys have lots of character. In fact, they are one of my favourite animals.

"Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes" (1879) is one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works and is considered a pioneering classic of outdoor literature. A milestone in travel literature this is!

In 1937 "The Donkey Serenade" became a popular song for singer Allan Jones in a reworking of Friml's original 1918 piece "Chanson" by Herbert Stothart for a musical called "The Firefly".

It was also performed in an instrumental version by the great Duke Ellington and is included in his 1958 outing "Duke Ellington At the Bal Masqué". Yes, that's one of his underrated albums.


song title reference: Duke Ellington Orchestra

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2816 W: 35 N: 5745] (30646)
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