Bible Snaps: Episode 18 … Dumb Ass Story

Thrillers, Chillers & Sci-Fi Killers. Whether or not you believe the bible is true, it contains stories that trigger imagination.

Dumb Ass Story

“You’re such a dumb ass,” Hilda says with affection as she primps.

“At least I’m smart enough to know who my true friends are.”

“Pfftttt. You’re too picky. The girls just want to have fun. You’re welcome to come along.”

“No thanks. I think I’ll stay here and practice.”

“You’ve got it really bad!” Hilda dances a little two step.


“Wanting to be more than you are.”

“Why is that so wrong?”

“I never should have told you about the dream.” Hilda finishes her grooming and twirls one more time.

“That’s not what this is about. I just want to understand things. I want to see the extraordinary.” I tug on a stubborn clump of rhubarb feeling exasperated with always having to defend my focus.

Hilda struts to the gate.  “Know what you will. Do what you will, but being ordinary is not so bad.” She leaves to meet with the gang, but her final words fly back to me on the wind. “Beee saaaatisfied.”

I shouldn’t mind her saying it, but every time I hear the joke about being dumb, my hunger returns. To understand the mysteries of the world or to foretell events as my boss does would set me apart from all the other jennies.

I leave after her and turn the other direction, walking alone down the path with only the rumble of my stomach for company.

I know there’s a world of greener grass out there, but it’s up to me to find the emerald entrance.

Maybe science is the ticket. How many Jacks would come running if I had the knowledge to render desert soil suitable for lush plantings of alfalfa? Milk production would go way up. In this arid wasteland, milk is money, and money will certainly get me where I want to go.

Yes. To achieve life altering scientific discovery using my brain cells would be a glorious destiny. I close my eyes and imagine the sound of praises in my ear, but then I choke.  The effort brings on a full musical wheeze, and I almost suffocate on a hardened bit of grain stuck in my jaw.

My tuneful hawing prompts me to consider a new path to fame and fortune.


The theater sends many a star to the top. If I could learn to sing opera, I’m sure I’d be a success.  My sonnets already outshine Hilda’s. On every occasion when my boss hears my tunes, he smiles and sometimes even laughs in sheer delight.

Every day I keep my boss happy is a day less of suffering for me. I’m sure he means to be friendly, but foretelling outcomes to the clueless is a high stress occupation.

In the distance a dust cloud swirls on the road that leads to the lodge. I hurry to beat the travelers. Balaam declared today an off day and no consults were scheduled.

When I arrive, I see that I’m too late. Balaam stands in the doorway, so I wait in my usual spot.

“Orders from Zippor,” an important man, most likely the leader, speaks and motions to a waifish oaf, inevitably the servant, to hand my boss a kingly reward chest.

When the oaf backs away from Balaam, his leader tosses his proud head and gestures theatrically. “We come in search of a curse. A multitude from Egypt covers the face of the earth and they lick up all the grass of the field as an ox.”

The reference illuminates a choice, and with it, my emerald door swings wide open. Science it is. Figure out how to grow the alfalfa, and everyone will have plenty. Don’t ask for a curse on your neighbor. How very dumb ass.

Yes, I said it.

Dumb ass. If you think someone’s got all the grass, go out and look again. Get busy. Do anything besides cursing.

The oaf reaches out a dirty hand to touch my skin, but I push him away and flare my teeth. I snicker softly as he retreats. The size of my choppers always scares away the idiots.

Balaam invites the men to stay the night, but in the morning, he sends them away and says, “Go back to your king. I can’t come with you. God forbids it.”

The men are unhappy, but they leave. My boss seems unhappy, too. “I’m the one cursed to have to turn away such rewards.”

I nod. It seems a little unfair. Like dangling a carrot in front of a mule and then pulling it back.

Days later a bigger and more grand group of fortune seekers arrives at the lodge. “We’re princes and servants of Balak, Zippor’s son, and he begs you to let nothing stop you from coming to him and pronouncing a curse. He will promote you to a very high honor and do whatever you say if you will just curse the approaching nation.”

Balaam sighs. He motions for them to sit, and he walks in the field with me. He does this often to give the impression that he’s thinking things over. Most of the time, he already has an answer but delivering an unfavorable message to a king’s son is a problem.

After kicking about for a sensible time, he murmurs to me, “These are very great men. If I don’t do what they ask, they might kill me. On the other hand, God might punish me for cursing those who are blessed. Absolute caution is necessary.”

I express my agreement, and we return to the fortune seekers.

Balaam is resolute. “Stay here tonight so that I might learn what my Lord would say to me, but I’ll tell you this now. Even if Balak gives me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot do less or more than what God tells me to.”

The men agree to stay, and Balaam retires for the night.

I can’t sleep. These men are greater princes than the first ones. Zippor is very serious about this curse. There must be a way to turn the opportunity to our advantage.

Hilda listens to me sympathetically. “I know you’ll come up with a plan. This may be your big chance.”

Exhilaration rushes over me. “Yes! Yes. We would have a chance to travel to high places. Even though cursing is not the answer, going to the king is a step in the right direction, I’m sure of it.” I speak louder in my enthusiasm, but Hilda nods off anyway. Apparently, the price of late night partying has come due.

I nudge her. She doesn’t open her eyes but mumbles, “Wake me up before you go.”

I never sleep. At six in the morning I go around the corner of the lodge to see if the King’s men are up and Balaam practically runs into me. “Let’s saddle up. We’re going with them.”

I’m proud to be part of such a great caravan. Our own little group of four, myself, Balaam, and two of his house men plod behind the princes and servants of Moab.

It’s not long before we fall behind, and when we reach an upward swing of the road, I can no longer see the larger caravan. I see something else instead.

Outlined in brightness, perhaps from the blinding sun, a towering man stands in front of us with his sword drawn.

I make a bolt for the field, but Balaam pressures me to return. When I look again, the man is gone.

When we reach the vineyards, the path is walled in on both sides. Suddenly, in the shaded path in front of me, I see the glowing man. Quickly, I back against the wall, accidently crushing Balaam’s foot.

Balaam becomes angry, and when I try to point out the foe, I discover that the man has disappeared.

“What’s wrong with you? You look like you’re seeing ghosts.” Balaam directs us to go forward, and the path narrows even further.

After a few steps the path becomes a single file affair and there’s no room to turn right or left. After several hundred feet of it, our illusive adversary reappears and completely blocks the way.

I freeze. The only thing I can do to halt our trek is fall and take Baalam with me, and for this he whacks me with his staff.

Then the amazing thing happens.

A miracle above miracles sweeps over me and I open my mouth to protest and human language pours out. I ask Balaam why he’s so angry with me, and he answers.

“I’m angry because you’ve provoked me.”

Once I start talking I can’t stop, and I let him have it. “Am I not the donkey which you have ridden all your life until this day? Was I ever accustomed to doing something like this before?”

“No,” he says.

It’s incredible, the feeling of talking, but Balaam seems much more preoccupied with the man holding the sword standing before us. “An Angel of the Lord,” he murmurs and bows his head and falls on his face.

Then the Angel speaks. “Why have you struck your donkey three times. I came to resist you and stand against you for your willful, obstinate, and contrary behavior. The ass saw me and turned from me three times. If she had not turned from me, I would have killed you and saved her.”

My heart races. My destiny is here. An Angel of God praises me and would have saved me over my boss had I not saved him by falling. I can’t wait to tell Hilda. Alfalfa fields are a dim mirage compared to the glory of this.

Balaam tells the Angel he’s sorry and that we’ll return to the Lodge if our travel displeases God.

The Angel says, “It’s your eagerness to go to them first when God asked you to wait for them to come to you that displeases. Now you may go, but in every detail, you’re to speak and do only what God tells you.”

Our journey is amazing, and Balaam is very brave and never once speaks a curse on the people God blessed.

Eventually we return home without gold or silver, but I become famous.

Hilda tells the story to all the hens who will listen, and throughout the entire earth I’m no longer known as a dumb ass.

I’m known as the donkey who spoke.


This fictionalized account was inspired by the Bible book of Numbers, chapter 22-24, the story of Balaam’s donkey.


My new blog series, Bible Snaps are short fictionalized accounts of the more chilling stories in the Bible. There may even be a few “science fiction” type stories that reference biblical disasters that seem to conflict with the laws of nature. 

If you follow along, there’s a couple things you should know.

My “Bible Snaps” aren’t an attempt to settle the question, “is the bible true?” Each person must decide that on their own. My goal is to jump into the head of bible characters and try to imagine living the experience described in the story and then use fresh and personal words to tell it.

My other goal is to keep these posts “snappy” quick. In doing this, I might only “snap” a portion of the bible story to tell, but I’ll always give you the bible reference so you can read the actual bible text that inspired me.

There are also other reading options on my website.

If you don’t like my Bible Snaps Stories, then check out “Five,” my medical Sci-Fi supernatural thriller story. All 67 episodes (blog posts) are now available, and if you read them from beginning to end, you’ll have read the entire book and will be ready for my sequel, “Six.”

If you don’t like “Five”, then read my other short stories on this blog- (search word, “un-proverbial”) or Psalms blog posts. All of these were posted before January 2015.

Just read me. I’d be honored to have YOU in my audience!

One final thought.

Why do I re-tell the “bad” or chilling parts of the Bible?

We live in rough times. People suffer under injustice. It’s good to see how the Bible, an old book that many value as true, contains helpful stories of people who were oppressed yet managed to live, survive, and thrive.

Don’t take my word or anyone else’s word about the Bible. Give it a read for YOURSELF. You may be surprised by what you find.



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