Mennonite Heritage Village

The Poet Thinks About the Donkey

March 28, 2024

By Gary Dyck

Sometimes a short poem can be as powerful as a long message, especially if you have a short attention span. Enjoy this humble Easter mediation by the great poet Mary Oliver:

On the outskirts of Jerusalem the donkey waited.

Not especially brave, or filled with understanding, he stood and waited.

How horses, turned out into the meadow, leap with delight!

How doves, released from their cages, clatter away, splashed with sunlight!

But the donkey, tied to a tree as usual, waited.

Then he let himself be led away.

Then he let the stranger mount.

Never had he seen such crowds!

And I wonder if he at all imagined what was to happen.

Still, he was what he had always been: small, dark, obedient.

I hope, finally, he felt brave.

I hope, finally, he loved the man who rode so lightly upon him, as he lifted one dusty hoof and stepped, as he had to, forward.

(Mary Oliver, “The Poet Thinks About the Donkey,” Thirst, Beacon Press, 44).

May you have a blessed Easter, from your friends at Mennonite Heritage Village (MHV)! Hope to see you at our Great Easter Egg Hunt this Saturday or upcoming AGM on Tuesday, April 2nd.

Upcoming Events:

It Takes a Village… Spring Gala 2024, May 24th. Celebrate the MHV’s 60th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Mennonites in Manitoba by contributing to this ongoing legacy. Tickets are on sale now at

The Great Easter Egg Hunt, March 30th (10am-Noon). The Great Easter Egg Hunt returns to MHV with even more activities! Grab an Easter egg basket and bring your kids to what will be an unforgettable morning of romping around the MHV grounds to search for Easter Eggs! Doors open at 10am. The hunt begins at 11am and will conclude at Noon. Children’s activities will be available inside.

2024 AGM, Tuesday, April 2, 7:30pm. Presentation of reports, stories, approval of financial statements and election of board members. Open to all, but to vote you must have an active membership.

Mennonite Village Photography Exhibit, open now till summer 2024. See a beautiful collection of never-before-seen photographs left behind by four Manitoba Mennonite photographers who lived and worked in the early twentieth century. The images are from glass and film negatives from 1890 to 1940. After being scanned and given a new life in print, the photos provide a clear view into Mennonite life and early settlement in Manitoba.