Working Donkeys In Crete Story Of Odysseus And His Donkey

Apart from giving tips on life on Crete, I also like sharing stories on this blog, so today I would like to talk about working donkeys in Crete, and I am going to be sharing a story about a guy called Odysseus. Now I know you might be familiar with the adventures of Odysseus But today we are not talking about that Odysseus.

We are talking about a guy who had a unique friendship with his donkey, his was not just another member of working donkeys in Crete, his donkey was his companion, his friend, they used to take the sheep to the field together, they would talk, well, Odysseus would talk and the donkey would listen.

They would go to the field to do some work and When it came the time to go back home in the afternoon for the siesta, Odysseus would just sit on the Donkey and sometimes he would doze off, because he would be tired of all the work he had done in the field. The donkey knew it’s way home and they would get home just fine.

Working Donkeys In Crete, A Friend Of Ours Shared This Story With Me

Image courtesy of our dear friend John

I would like to say a special thank you to our friend John who shared this story with me and sent me the picture you see above, he told me that the picture used to hung on the wall at a Taverna in Armenoi, a village just 28km from Chania, it’s near Kalyves Beach. One evening John and his wife were having a meal at the taverna, and they got talking to a guy who was on the opposite table.


They were talking about the image, and how captivating it is, it turned out that the man they were talking to was actually Odysseus grandson who had just arrived in Crete for vacation from the US. He talked to them about his grandfather, and how he treasured his donkey. Odysseus passed away 10 years ago, and it’s not known what became of his precious donkey, but it was the last working donkey in the village of Armenoi.

Donkeys Are Very Special And In Some Parts Of Crete, They Are Very Useful

Even though these days donkeys have been replaced with flashy pickup trucks, in other villages There are people who still use donkeys to perform different duties like carrying grass for the goats, or even for short transportation.

When you visit the cave of Zeus here in Crete, you will have a choice of taking a donkey from the parking lot, to take you to the cave. There have been a controversy on how the Donkeys are treated, and some tourists have posted on Trip advisor that one should first make sure that the donkeys are not being mistreated.

To be fair, the donkeys are not pets, they are working donkeys, and they do have to work. That being said, Its very wrong to mistreat an animal even if it’s a working animal. Actually I think a working animal should be taken care of and treated very well because it’s actually generating income for the owner.

When you go to the cave of Zeus, the last time I checked it was costing 15 Euros per person to use a donkey.

Working Donkeys In Crete Are  Used As Means Of Transportation In Samaria Gorge.

When you go hiking in Samaria gorge, the most challenging hike in Crete, you will have a choice of using a donkey. The donkeys are there to help those who find it difficult to complete the hike, and they do come in handy because as I keep saying in my other posts, Samaria is no joke.

Donkeys have always played a major role, in easing people’s lives by completing different tasks. In my country, donkeys are used to carry water especially in the villages where there is water shortages. They are also used to carry other things, and sometimes even used for transportation. They usually pull a cart that will either be filled with jelly cans full of water or even building material.


I think donkeys are amazing animals, all through history donkeys have been working. For Christians, it’s believed that Christ came to Jerusalem on a back of a donkey. There is also a story in the Bible where a donkey spoke like a human being when it was hit by it’s owner for refusing to go. The donkey asked the owner, “I am I not your loyal donkey that you have always used? Have you ever seen me do a thing like this before? can you not see that there is and Angel in front of me and I can’t get through?”

If you are interested in the story and would like to read it for yourself, it’s found in the old testament in the book of Numbers 22:28 it’s quite interesting. Or just Google it, you will find it just type where in the Bible  did a donkey talk?

OK, I hope you have enjoyed reading my post, if so please leave me a comment below with your views.

Thank you for your time


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