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Short Stories (Stories for the Youth), book by Father Tadros Yacoub Malaty

186- Hospitality of a Donkey and a Mule


The two brothers Moses and Paul arrived at the city of Belbais. They were walking together in the streets of the city amidst the dark talking about a friend of the family named Claudius and his three children. They were really excited to see his family members who were bound with love, grace and the life of prayer.

The two brothers did not feel the lapse of time as they reminisced about this family. They arrived at Claudius house and knocked on the door. The man opened the door and could not believe himself when he saw the two young men in front of him. He had not seen them since their fathers death. He hugged them with tears in his eyes. Image: A donkey and a mule صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: حمار و بغل Image: A donkey and a mule.

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: حمار و بغل.

His wife hurried to welcome them with great excitement as if they were her own sons. She started inquiring about their mother after their father passed away. Claudius three sons welcomed the visitors heartily and sat chatting with them happily. Claudius' wife went outside the guestroom to prepare a goose for dinner.

After an hour, Claudius accompanied Moses to a separate room to inquire about his spiritual life and the conduct of his deceased fathers business. Moses answered saying, "I thank God the business is doing well. God's blessings are countless. But what worries me most is that my brother Paul, who is not flexible, doesnt know how to run the business. He is a donkey and is a burden on me in the business."

Claudius sighed bitterly and tears ran from his eyes. He asked him, "How can you call your brother a donkey, my son? Hes your brother whom you should love not condemn. You should consider his credits, virtues and talents not his errors and weaknesses.

However, Moses did not listen to him.

Claudius sat down with Paul and talked with him alone. When he asked Paul about his father's business, he answered that everything was fine except that his brother was like a mule, getting furious without any cause and that he does not act with love or wisdom. Claudius then advised him to bear his brother and not to condemn him. Notwithstanding, Paul did not listen to his advice.

After an hour, Claudius went into the kitchen and returned carrying a tray with two covered plates. After his sons left him alone with the two visitors, he served the tray for dinner.

Paul and Moses washed their hands and sat around the table. When they uncovered the two plates, they were surprised to find some uncooked lentils and beans. The two brothers looked at each other in surprise as if asking what Claudius has done. Was it a mistake in the tray or was it on purpose because of a grudge between him and their father?

The room was all quiet when the old respectable man interrupted the silence by saying, "Why are you surprised my sons? Isnt this the food of the donkey and the mule? Moses, you have called your brother a donkey. And you Paul! You have called your brother a mule. Eat then, this is the right food for you both.

→ English translation of the story here at استضافة حمار وبغل. Divider

Give me eyes You the Lover of human beings

That I could see every person as You see him.

And cover his weaknesses as You cover mine.

Help me that no bad word comes out of my mouth,

But speak with Your sweet tongue.

Help me with Your thoughts so I would not condemn any person.

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