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Reginald Blisterkunst, Ph.D.
Among the Remembered Saints: My Life and Subsequent Death
Pluto Wars

Greg Chandler
"Bee's Tree"
"Local Folk"
"Roland's Feast"
"Pond Story "

Doug Childers
"The Baptism"

Gene Cox
The Sunset Lounge

Clarke Crutchfield
"The Break-In"
"The Canceled Party"
"The Imaginary Bullet"

Jason DeBoer
"The Execution of the Sun"

Deanna Francis Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Dennis Must

Charlie Onion
"Love Among the Jellyfish"
Pluto Wars
"Feast of the Manfestation"

Chris Orlet
"Romantic Comedy"

Daniel Rosenblum
"A Full Donkey"

Deanna Frances Mason
"The Daguerreian Marvel"

Andrew L. Wilson
"Fat Cake and Double Talk"


A Full Donkey
Daniel Rosenblum

Norris woke, donned his bathrobe, and wandered down to the kitchen. His first order of business was to make some coffee. But something Norris saw made him stop. There, growing out of the kitchen floor, like an exotic fern, was a donkey ear.  Norris rubbed his eyes. Yes, it was a donkey ear. A donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor.

Norris went into the bedroom where Carole slept, her body heaving in the tectonic rhythms of their unborn baby.

"Wake up," Norris said to his wife, shaking her. "There's a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor."

Carole opened an eye that reminded Norris very much of a barnacle stuck to a rock.

 "Deal with it," Carole said, and rolled away like a wave crashing toward a distant shore.

Norris dealt with the donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor the only way he knew how: He made a pot of coffee. Then he sat at the kitchen table and contemplated the ear.

Norris noticed the donkey ear was sticking straight up, as if standing at attention. That was good, he thought. Norris liked things that stood at attention. By why only one? Shouldn't the ear have a mate? Where was the rest of the donkey?

Deep in thought about this, Norris misjudged the distance from the cup to his lips and spilled coffee onto his leg.

"Damn it! Now lookit what you made me do," he scolded the ear.

Norris thought he saw the donkey ear quiver, as if in sympathy.

As if the donkey ear could feel his pain.


Carole came downstairs in her nightgown and slippers, clutching the round orb of her belly. Norris sat at the kitchen table in his usual place, reading his newspaper. It was Saturday; there was no office for him to go to.
"I had the strangest dream last night," Carole said, raising her hand to the light and spreading her fingers out like a fan. She liked to admire the moons that were growing on her fingernails. She thought of baby waiting inside her as she watched the ghostly white disks drift toward the tips of her nails and disappear over the edge.
 "I had a dream there was a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor and I told you to deal with it."
Norris looked up from his newspaper.

"But it's true. There is a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor," he said, pointing at the donkey ear.

"O!" Carole gasped, folding herself into an S in the chair next to Norris. Moons shot out from her fingernails, a torrent of cold white flecks, gibbous, crescent, and full.     

Carole watched the moons come and go. Baby was coming. The clockwork of  Carole's solar system was on fast-forward.  

Carole sat at the kitchen table, thinking about things, her hands fluttering like birds against glass.

Everything is going along fine, and then one morning a donkey ear shows up.


Carole was not happy about the donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor. Her kitchen floor. Her kitchen. She had picked out the linoleum, she had chosen the cabinets, she had selected everything, even the knobs on the pantry door. And now here was this weed, this thing that had taken root.

"Why us?" she said. "Why did it have to come to us?"

Carole poured batter into the waffle iron. The ear made it difficult to maneuver in the kitchen. Carole had to make a wide orbit around the ear to reach the table with the waffles. It wouldn't do to get to close.

"Does our house insurance cover the removal of animal parts?" Carole asked Norris.

Carole had been inside all kinds of houses, but she had never seen one with a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor. A moose head on the wall, maybe, but never a donkey ear. Never a donkey part of any kind.

Norris scratched his head and said, "I don't think so."

Norris was glad he didn't think insurance covered the removal of animal parts because he liked the ear. After all, how many men in America could boast a donkey ear in the middle of their kitchen floor? There was something appealing about the ear. He could talk to it and it wouldn't talk back. Not like Carole. Carole was always giving him an earful. She was always saying things like, "I want that ear out of here." Or, "It's a hazard. Someone might trip." Or, "Think of baby. The ear could be diseased.  You don't know where it's been."


The next morning it was still there, rising from the floor like a young maple sapling.

"Hello," Norris said in a cheerful voice. As he spoke, Norris was pleased to see the donkey ear snap to attention.

Norris removed a can of coffee from the freezer. On the can there was a picture of Juan Valdez and his donkey. As Norris ground the shiny beans, he wondered what it was like to have a full donkey instead of just an ear. He had searched the entire house for other donkey parts, but he had found nothing, not even a hoof.

Juan Valdez had a full donkey while Norris had only an ear. It just wasn't fair. Norris was jealous of Juan Valdez.


That night Carole made a pot roast, arranging carrots and potatoes in a horseshoe around the mahogany meat. Carole could feel baby moving inside her as she poured brown gravy into a pan. Baby was almost ready. But before baby could come, the donkey ear would have to go. A house with a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor—who ever heard of such a thing? Donkey ears—donkey parts of any kind—had no place in her home.


Norris arranged Fourth of July sparklers in a ring around the donkey ear. Vines shot up the walls and slithered across the kitchen ceiling. Smoke was pouring from the oven. Norris was standing in the mists of the Colombian jungle. Norris and his Colombian donkey ear.

"You're not going to light those things in the house," Carole said, eyeing the donkey ear and the sparklers with resentment. Baby moved again, a sharp twinge in her womb. Something hard was kicking. "This has got to stop," Carole said, but Norris of course wasn't listening.

Norris was in a festive mood. There was much to be thankful for. Commander Sanchez had squashed the peasant rebellion and this year's coffee harvest would be the biggest ever. To celebrate, Norris tied a purple ribbon around the donkey ear.
 "There," Norris said as he stood up to admire the bow he had tied to the top of the donkey ear. He liked how the ear stood proud and erect, like an obelisk honoring an ancient god.
 "Norris!" Carole shouted.

 Norris sniffed the ear, ran his tongue along the fluted interior. There was the sour mingled taste of gunpowder, coffee beans and dung.

 "Norris!" Carole screamed again, clutching her belly. Something was galloping inside her, and there was the deafening thunder of hooves.

 "Baby's coming!" Carole cried out.

 "Fuego! Incendio!" Norris shouted as the sparklers flashed their tiny lightening bolts.


Nothing ends simply or completely. It would be easy to tell you, for instance, that Norris and Carole's baby was a donkey—that it was the full donkey that Norris had always wanted, but that would be lying. Norris and Carole's baby was a human baby, like any other. A woman giving birth to a donkey? Who would believe such a ridiculous story anyway?

But if you must know, the donkey ear is still there, growing out of Norris and Carole's kitchen floor. Only the kitchen floor no longer belongs to Norris and Carole. After baby was born, Norris and Carole sold the house to Jerry and Kim and moved away.

At first, Kim wasn't thrilled with the idea of owning a house with a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor. But Jerry didn't mind. He thought having a donkey ear growing out of the kitchen floor was rather novel.

Besides, Jerry and Kim got a good price on the house.

That was good, Kim thought as she caressed her belly.

She and Jerry would need every penny to buy baby a full donkey.

Posted December 1, 2002



About the Author

Daniel Rosenblum, Director of Corporate & Policy Programs at the Japan Society in New York City, has spent nearly half his life overseas, including thirteen years in Japan. A former television producer and foreign correspondent, Daniel is also is an award-winning fiction writer. His work has appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Printed Matter and Wingspan in Japan, and The Kit-Cat Review, Doorknobs & Bodypaint, Quick Fiction, Japanophile Magazine and Spinnings in the U.S.  He has read widely in the New York area and was interviewed on WNYC about his short story "The Podiatrist," which was featured in The Broken Bridge (Stone Bridge Press), an anthology of expatriates in literary Japan. Daniel is active in the Tunnel Vision Writers' Project, a non-profit organization that specializes in providing support and creative forums for multi-genre writers and writing students. He lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Tamima, daughters Beryl and Hannah, and Winston, a dachshund.


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