It was nothing to the donkey. She took the new bulk on her black-crossed back without a twitching glance over the sheen on her shoulder.
It was light, lighter than jars of cool clay condensing, lighter than milled grain in burlap, lighter than bales or bundled sticks. It smelled of oil and wine.
It was nothing to her, to plod downhill in the heat, to halt at quick commands. It was nothing to wait, snuffling at flies, while he tugged at the shifting load.
The war between sides, the intake of aggressive breath, the long human detour around the other kind, these were nothing to her. She took the new bulk on her black-crossed back.
It smelled of oil and wine, and it was light, but not lighter than hitchhiking sparrows, or his hand on the lead, or his stubborn step on the riddled roadway down.