The Peoples' Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development

A Fakir, a donkey and a dog story

“Once upon a time there lived an old fakir in a small village near the desert in western India. He had a pet donkey and a dog for years. Every morning he would send them both with an empty container on the donkey’s back to the village. All the villagers would then voluntarily fill the container with food grains. The fakir would spend hours making Rotis (bread) from the collected grain and then he would put it in a box with two jugs filled with water on the donkey’s back. Then the dog would lead the donkey inside the desert but the fakir would stay back in the village. The donkey and dog would walk for couple hours, deep inside the desert. In those days many people would travel from one village to another and would have to pass the desert. They would quench their hunger and thirst from this anonymous offering and continued with their travels. They never knew who sent the food and the fakir never knew who received the offering. This invisible bond of love and gratitude nourished them all.”