Palm Sunday

Everyone knew about our two donkeys. In fact, they had become a village joke. No matter how hard my father tried to train either animal, neither the mother nor her young colt lovingly named “Sarar” wouldn’t cooperate. We couldn’t get them to work and Sarar would cause quite the scene when anyone tried to ride him. My brothers and I even had a bet going about how long it would be before our father traded or sold them. It seemed three months was the limit – I lost the bet, which meant I was also the one who had to tie up both animals next to a sign that read, “2-for-1 Donkey Sale.”

For the past week, I had tied up both donkeys to our front post with the sign. No takers.

Today, Father told me to write “free to trade” on the sign to see if it got some attention. Still, no interest. I expect, because most people in the village had heard the many stories about my father trying to correct them. I still had hope, especially for the younger colt, Sarar, even though he was stubborn, he was still sweet.

“Well, Sarar, if no one claims you today, you might be in trouble,” I said to the big-eyed animal as I scratched his ears, which he loved. I had just turned the corner to visit my mother at the market when my youngest brother came running, “Caleb! Come quick! Someone wants our donkeys,” he said out of breath.

Could it really be happening, I thought with a bit of sadness in my heart. Who could it be? I quickly turned around to find out what was happening. Before I reached the post and began to question, I saw two men untying both donkeys.

“Do we have your permission to take these two animals?” they asked as I started to protest. I didn’t have a reason to say no. I knew my father was ready to part with them even if I was not. It seemed there was also something different about these two men. I knew our donkeys would be cared for in some way.

“Yes,” I said reluctantly, rubbing Sarar’s ears one more time. I wanted to follow the men as they left town, but I needed to tell my father the news. We were still discussing what happened when we heard a commotion coming from the city streets. It sounded like people shouting, or were they singing?

What a weird day, I thought and went to investigate. The path to the street was blocked by more people than I had seen in town in a while. I tried peering through the crowd, but to no avail. I couldn’t see past the people or the branches they waved. By now, I could hear the chant, “Hosanna!”

I wove through the crowd until I could see. My jaw dropped. There was Sarar, and his mom beside him. I couldn’t believe it, a man with kind eyes was riding Sarar. The words of the street echoed.

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

Without pause, the words escaped my lips. “Hosanna in the Highest!”

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