“I don’t think I can do it,” Dodo donkey brayed loudly. Milo monkey woke up from his evening nap and complained, “Oh, Dodo, you woke me up!”
“How can you be concerned about your sleep, when I can’t do what others can do?” Dodo cried.
Still sleepy and annoyed, Milo asked, “Now, what happened?”
“I can’t walk long distances while carrying heavy loads on my back,” Dodo said,
“I am sure, my bones will break if I do.”
“Can you do anything in your life?” asked Milo, exasperated.
Dodo kept quiet. “You must have some confidence in yourself, Dodo,” said Flora flamingo, who was sitting nearby.
Flora was famous for her bright pink feathers, thin long legs and her S-shaped neck. Flora gave two lotuses to Dodo and asked, “Do you think you can give one lotus to Milo?”
“Yes, I can,” said Dodo, and gave one lotus to Milo.
“Hurray… Hurray… Finally, I heard Dodo say ‘I Can’,” clapped Flora. Both Milo and she laughed, and congratulated Dodo, who also smiled.
“Why are you not confident, Dodo?” asked Flora.
Making a sad face, Dodo replied, “Everyone makes jokes on us, as if donkeys are of no use. Also, people often use the term ‘donkey’ or an ‘ass’ to insult others, to say they are slow or stupid and crack a joke on them.”
Flora flapped her pretty wings and thought for a while.
“Come on, let’s go for an evening stroll,” she suggested, and the three of them started walking towards the lake.
On the way, they met Ansy ant and her friends who were carrying food home.
“Dodo, do you see the load on Ansy’s back? Ants can carry weight that is 10 to 50 times their own body weight.” Dodo watched Ansy and friends, with awe. “Such tiny creatures can do such a wonderful job!” he thought.
“Croak… Croak…” Suddenly Futtu frog came along. “I am practicing for the long jump event in the next Annual Sports Meet,” said Futtu.
“That’s really amazing. Best wishes, Futtu” said Flora.
“A frog can jump almost 44 times its body length,” explained Flora.
Though, Dodo had seen frogs jump earlier, he noticed Futtu’s jumping talent only today.
“Such a small creature can do such a wonderful job!” thought Dodo again. “But, they are talented by birth and I am born a fool,” Dodo still believed.
“You must realise your strength and appreciate yourself,” said Flora. “Because if you believe in other’s negative comments about you, you will always doubt yourself and remain in fear.”
“Dodo you don’t even live with other donkeys,” said Milo.
He then pointed his fingers to the hill and continued, “Donkeys are strong and carry logs and grass. Do you know how long they need to walk and carry the load?”
“I know, yet nobody appreciates them. They are still called fools,” Dodo replied glumly. “I simply cannot bear the pain of being called a fool. So I just walk around and eat and drink whatever I find.”
“Do you know that donkeys are incredible animals who have excellent memory and tremendous physical strength? Believe that about yourself and work hard with a positive mind. Always say ‘I Can’.”
Dodo brayed suddenly, “Incredible animals!” he repeated.
“That’s the problem. Most of us criticise others without knowing their facts,” Flora explained.
“Studies have shown that donkeys can remember a place they have been to or recognise other donkeys who they met, even after 25 years. A donkey will not do something if it considers it to be unsafe. It can live more than 40 years and in various types of places.”
Dodo was quite stunned to hear about his own talents.
Holding his large ear, Flora said, “Donkeys have large ears that help them hear across distances in deserts. In case they sense something wrong while traveling, they will simply not move ahead and will start digging in their heels.”
“Am I really so strong and special?” Dodo wondered. “I just can’t believe it. I have heard something good about me for the first time.”
Flora sat on Dodo’s back and pecked him gently, “Never compare yourself with others or try to copy them. Instead, find your own strengths and talents and believe in yourself. Always say ‘I Can’ so ‘You Can.”
Milo too jumped on Dodo’s back and screamed, “Yes, we can!”
Dodo brayed, “Yes, I can…” and started running, jumping and dancing cheerfully with Flora and Milo on his back.
Dodo thanked Flora. This was a turning point in Dodo’s life. He realised his own strengths and talents that made him smart, strong and confident!