Donkey Rides

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt reminded me of one of our posts from three years ago. It's not a photo of a man riding a horse but one of a donkey riding a man. It's a hilarious sight indeed.

I found this photo in a bunch of emails my brother-in-law forwards over to me. It was part of a power point slide presentation. I have no clue what that presentation was for but it has some very eerie music played on a tin whistle, and begins with a photo of the Russian Army, the last Tsar of Russia, his wife, and son. There must be 50 old photos in the presentation so you all are in for some more from that collection. The photos are from around the early 1900's to the 1940's.

This photo looks like it is a soldier walking through a field. It seems there are two other soldiers in the background, one with a gun. But why is this soldier carrying this donkey? Shouldn't it be the other way around? At the very least that donkey should be carrying some of those soldiers supplies.

I originally published this photo in a post on March 10, 2010. At that time I asked readers what their thoughts were on the situation. It was one of our most commented posts. Here are some of the replies:

  • That's the cutest thing I've ever seen. Wouldn't it be great if all soldiers carried donkeys instead of guns !

  • A variation on a theme perhaps. Instead of lions led by donkeys, lions carrying donkeys. Extraordinary!

  • Fascinating. I love a mystery and this is certainly a mystery. Judging my the robes on the man to the left, it might have been taken in the middle east.

    The donkey looks to be young, still I'm not sure how far I'd want to carry him.

  • I'm with Barbara! Donkeys, not guns!

  • I would imagine that if they had to carry donkeys in Afghanistan or Iraq instead of guns, this whole thing would have been finished by now. Wishful thinking...

  • LOL! Forget Kat...I think you've outdone all of us! :)

  • I guess Korean War. Interesting little companion, there!

  • That's so interesting. It was hard to stop looking at it.

  • Great photo! Looks like he's just a baby. Maybe he's a war orphan.

  • OMG what photo! And there set the animals on the backs of men! Over the top. Let us know what you learn!

  • Wonderful photograph. Crazy doesn't go halfway to describing it.

  • Er, I hate to be a party-pooper but where is the donkey's back end? I think it's photoshopped.

  • Hello,

    Ive seen this photo recently in a local journalist blog in Tehran, Iran.
    According to that the soldier is trying to save donkeys life from landmines!
    I tried to do some research but with no result. if anyone found anything, just let me know.

  • I believe it was in north Africa WWII. Donkey found weak and starving. Soldiers carried it back to base and brought it back to health.

  • I believe it was in north Africa WWII. Donkey found weak and starving. Soldiers carried it back to base and brought it back to health.

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    Sharon said…
    It is very appealing and I just keep looking at the photo.

    Personally, I think it is a fake. Photoshop at work. The donkey looks at ease (and not sick). I just cannot see a donkey allowing itself to be carried like this. Additionally the soldier also appears to be casual. I think he would appear to struggle more if he had a donkey on his back! Just my opinion.
    Wendy said…
    I guess that's the visual equivalent of the expression "Get your ass off your shoulders."
    Liz Needle said…
    A mystery for sure, but a very interesting one. What I fund a little odd is the stiffness of the donkey's front legs. They don't look quite right to me.
    Liz Rice-Sosne said…
    I am with Becky Snyder. It looks like a very young donkey and as she states possibly injured. War is a terrible thing. This soldier is most likely finding solace and a sense of caring while carrying the donkey. These are feelings rarely experienced in war and needed daily to survive in life.
    Postcardy said…
    It kind of looks like the back half of the donkey is missing.
    Bob Scotney said…
    I'm convinced it's not a real donkey; the legs look wooden to me.

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