I keep an eagle eye on the important stories of the day and have some excellent donkey news to report from Africa. This particular story comes from Ethiopia where illiteracy and mistreatment of donkeys are both widespread.
To combat these issues, a colourfully painted wooden cart, pulled by two earnest, scholarly looking donkeys, tours through the towns. The sides of the cart fold down, revealing rows of books and a collection of small stools. Local children are thus given instant access to both reading materials and a place to sit. The two donkeys are unhitched and given a rest in a shady spot. I can think of no better calling for a donkey. Bringing literacy to the masses via a slow and stately means of transport, lots of stops for rest/snacks/admiration and never, ever any snow. Or ice. Or that lunatic Jack Frost. But I digress.
The entourage includes an elderly donkey called Queen Helena, who wears embroidered finery, including quite a spectacular head-dress. Given the shocking treatment of donkeys in that country, her role is to educate human youth as to the true importance of our species and the respect we deserve. I plan to offer my services as King Sheaffer should she decide to retire. I would feel quite comfortable wearing a crown and any flowing robes required, in spite of the extreme heat.
The link to this wonderful story is as follows http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7777560.stm
And thank you to my alert correspondent in Ottawa who posts on here as "libraryperson". She is someone who knows all about books.