This is a raw lie. You cant trust Matthew as far as you could throw him. He just wrote down whatever came into his head and there was little enough in there but the names of race-horses and which bars served the best wine when the evangelists went out on the town, which they did far more often than they admitted. They were a motley crew, Ill tell you that. I could tell you stories.
The fact is that the day we went to get the donkey was a disaster. Himself sent me and Andrew to get the steeds, me because I had forearms like trees and Andrew because he was Peters kid brother and was always in Peters loud shadow, and I think the Lord wanted Andrew to build up some credit with the guys.
So off we go to the village.
We were pretty confident, all things considered, because when the Lord said something was going to happen, it happened exactly that way, but this time He wasnt on His game, maybe, what with Jerusalem looming, and while we did immediately find a donkey, and a colt with her, when we went to untie them, and bring them immediately to the Big Guy, a hand like a steel bolt shot out and grabbed Andrews arm, and a voice like two rocks scraping said Not so fast, clown.
The Lord has need of them, I said, remembering our instructions.
The Lord. The one and only.
Which one and only?
Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ. The Messiah.
Could we borrow your donkey, please? said Andrew in a funny voice. He was turning a little green from the way the guy was holding him like a hawk.
The. Lord. Has. Need. Of. Them, I said crisply, figuring maybe I hadnt said it loudly enough. I noticed Jesus spoke loud and clear when he drove out demons and brought Lazarus back to life. Something to remember for all of us: when doing miracles, enunciate.
Tough, said the guy, emerging from the shadows and clapping his other hand on my arm, and I tell you, this guy like hands like bear traps. It wasnt that they were so large Peter has bigger hands; heck, Peter has hands like boats but this guy must have wrist-wrestled lions for fun or something, because he had a grip like doom.
So there we were, Himself waiting for His triumphant ride into Jerusalem, fulfilling what was spoken by the prophet, with people spreading their garments in the road, and cutting branches from trees to spread in the road, although I have to note here that the branches werent your cute little palm fronds of today no, no, these were cedar branches the size of horses, and it took Jesus a lot longer to pick His way over the pile of wood in the road than you would think from all the pretty pictures and all. And, you know, when the prophet said behold your King is coming to you gentle, that gentle bit was a near thing; Jesus was ready to pop a gasket until James cooled Him down by getting Jesus into the old if-God-is-all-powerful-can-He-make-a-rock-so-big-even-He-cant-lift-it question, which even Jesus could never figure out. You dont see that reported by Matthew either. Matthew was a useless piece of meat.
Anyway there we were with the guy holding us with his steel fingers, and Himself waiting impatiently at the Mount of Olives, and the donkey and the colt standing there flatulently, and things looking poorly altogether. We struggled against the guys grip, and we kicked and shouted and all, but the guy was the size of a house, and clearly he owned the animals and wasnt about to let them wander off with two fishermen, and so we were kind of at a dead end there, when suddenly, I swear to God, the donkey spoke.
Say to the daughter of Zion, behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted upon a donkey, she said, in a rough voice, like shed been out a little late with the Evangelists or something.
Even upon a colt, the foal of a beast of burden, said the colt, in kind of a high mincing voice like Matthew, and at that the giant released us.
Id like to say that we grabbed the animals and went rushing back to the Mount of Olives but the fact is that we all just stood there for a long moment, astonished.
Soon enough off we went and so the prophesy was fulfilled as ordained, except for the word immediately, and the fact is, I have to report, that Jesus was perturbed about our delay, and then peeved at having to climb over the cedar branches in the road, so that might explain His little scene in the temple when we got to Jerusalem, and even there I have to say that Matthew muddles the whole thing, he says politely that Jesus overturned tables and chairs, but I was there, and it was chaos and hubbub of the first order. I saw a table go by twenty feet over my head, and Himself splintered a chair into matchsticks, and I saw a moneychanger float by in a lovely parabola that may have landed him in the Jordan River for all I know. Memorable day altogether. I could tell you stories.