Tossed to and fro
Pulling to the opposite
Side that Balaam did.
The donkey had been this agitated before,
But never before had he been able to say,
In a human tongue:
“You silly man!
What kind of prophet are you
To force a donkey
To do your will?”
“And what kind of donkey
Are you to speak to me
In my tongue?” responded Balaam.
“I’ve brayed at you for years,
But you never listened,” said the donkey.
“Now that I can speak in a human tongue
Would you like to know what I think?”
“I care not what you think!” said Balaam
“I am waiting for God to tell me
Whether I should curse or not curse
The tribes of Israel.
“And why do you think I can
Speak at all?” said the donkey.
“Hasn’t it occurred to you
That God is speaking
This moment through me?
You can waste your time
Pulling me to and fro as usual
Or you can listen to what
I have to say.”
Balaam sighed. “So tell me”
“You are not to curse the people of Israel.
Rather, you are to bless them.”
“Bless them? Really?
That cantankerous people?
You cannot possibly be God
If you are suggesting such a thing.”
With that, Balaam’s foot
Was caught in the stirrup
And he fell off the donkey,
Who dragged the prophet along
Until Balaam cried for mercy.
The donkey was succinct.
“You are to bless the Israelites.
And you must not reveal your source.
If you do, your King Balak
And his entourage will chase you away,
Thinking you a madman
For even suggesting a donkey could speak.”
“But you have spoken just now!” cried Balaam.
In response, the donkey simply brayed
But he did let Balaam dust himself off
And climb back on.
It was some distance from
Where Balaam needed to be
To report God’s decision
And he needed to arrive before sunset,
For it would soon be shabbat.