Dominick the Donkey

With apologies to Maurice Sendak

The night Kris wore his red suit and granted wishes of one kind and another, his woman called him “VILE THING!” and Kris said “IT MEANT NIENTE!” but he was sent to sleep in the stable anyway.

That very night in the stable, a forest grew and grew and grew until its ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around.

Suddenly, a hill tumbled by with a private asino for Kris and he rode off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the italiani are.

And when he came to the place where the italiani are, they laughed their wonderful laughs and smiled their wonderful teeth and rolled their wonderful tongues and waved their wonderful paws till Kris said “BE STILL!” and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their brownish eyes without blinking once and they were gladdened and called him the most gentle thing of all and made him king of all italiani

“And now,” cried Kris, “let the wild rumpus start!”

They danced around the donkey from dusk until dawn, wrapping jingle bells around the feet of the noble steed that had brought this man to their village. They christened him Dominick, after the mayor, whose derby they placed atop his head.

“Hee-haw,” said Dominick. “Hee-haw.”

“Now stop!” Kris said and sent the italiani off to bed to wait for their presents. And Kris, the king of all italiani was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him least of all.

Then, all around from far away across the world, he smelled good things to eat. So, he gave up being king of the italiani.

But the italiani cried, “Oh please don’t go! We need niente; we love you so!”

And Kris said, “No!”

The italiani laughed their wonderful laughs and smiled their wonderful teeth and rolled their wonderful tongues and waved their wonderful paws, but Kris climbed onto his asino and waved good-bye.

He rode back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own stable, where he found his woman waiting for him.

And she asked, “Who’d you run off with this time?”

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