The story so far: The farmer has punished Long Ears for running off. But Long Ears was glad he had helped a girl in a wheelchair.
The next day after the cart was unloaded, Long Ears shrugged off the reins and galloped toward the pasture where he’d seen the little girl. The farmer yelled, but Long Ears did not listen.
When she saw him, the girl waved. Then she cried out, “Help! Help! The wheel on my chair has broken.”
Again, the donkey remembered what Brown Hen had said: “Do something.”
So he did. He sank down slowly in front of the girl. She dragged herself forward and lifted her leg over the donkey’s back. Slowly Long Ears stood.
The girl clung to his neck. “Oh! This is such fun.”
Ahead was a beautiful white house and a huge red barn surrounded by acres of grass. Horses sprinted in the fields. Cows grazed on the tasty grass. What a wonderful farm, Long Ears thought.
The girl pointed and said, “I live there.”
At the steps of the house, the donkey gently lowered to the ground. The girl slid off.
“Thank you,” the girl said.
That night the farmer tied the donkey in the stall with a short rope. Long Ears could not lie down. And he didn’t get any oats.
“You told me to do something,” he complained to Brown Hen. “Now I have nothing to eat. I can’t lie down. And I’m more bored and tired than ever.”
“At least you did something,” the hen said. “You helped that girl.”
“Yeah. She sure was nice.”
After that, the farmer always tied the donkey to a hitching post at the marketplace.
Wednesday: Long Ears gets into big trouble.
This story is on The Times’ website at latimes.com/kids.