Allison could not stop crying, but at least she had enough control to do it quietly, so she could avoid waking up her older sister and self-proclaimed owner. Her buttocks and sides were marked by Mallory’s stick – to the point of bleeding in some areas – and her back was intolerably sore from sustaining her rider’s weight for the longest time ever. Several times Allison had thought she would collapse out of exhaustion, but the merciless lashes had made her so desperate that her body had somehow found the strength to keep going.
What hurt the most – however – was Allison’s heart. She felt betrayed by her sister, the person she had trusted and loved the most in her life. Mallory had first taken advantage of her transformation to start riding her like a beast of burden, and then gradually showed a sadistic attitude and the intention to turn her into nothing more than a slave. This whole situation was so hurtful and hopeless.
Mallory had not even bothered to take any of the tack off her. The harness that sustained the stirrups was uncomfortably tight around her chest, and Allison was tethered to a tree through her bridles, expected to sleep standing like a donkey. Her new legs allowed it, but the turmoil in her heart did not. And those bleeding wounds could have used some fresh water. Allison knew that the river where they had got drinking water was only a few minutes away from the area where they were camping. She looked at Mallory, who seemed deep in her sleep by the fire. This was her chance. It took Allison at least 20 minutes to untie her bridle from the tree, using her teeth as much as the tight bit allowed her. She finally succeeded, and started walking slowly on her four hooves.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Mallory’s voice made Allison freeze.
“Ehm… I’m just… my wounds hurt, they need water… I was just going to…”
“You are not going anywhere without my permission. You’d better get used to acting like property, or I’ll teach you another lesson! Aren’t you broken yet, after the way I treated you yesterday?” Mallory took the stick from the ground and sat up, looking like she was about to stand up and hit her.
Scared and hurt, Allison could not think straight. She took a couple of quick steps back, and ended up hitting a tree with her wounded back. “Ouch!” she screamed, getting distracted for a second. That’s all Mallory needed to try and grab her, but a last-minute reflex allowed Allison to move her head enough to prevent her from grabbing the reins. At that point, nothing was left in her terrorized mind except one thought: “Run!”
Allison ran and never looked back, trying to ignore Mallory’s voice yelling threats at her. She kept galloping for at least an hour, feeling so light! She realized that she had never run without any weight on her back since the transformation. Freedom felt so amazing. But soon she started thinking: “Now what?” She was all alone, looking half-human and half-donkey, wearing nothing except her stirrups, thin saddle, bit and bridle. She could barely drink with the bit in her mouth, let alone eat. Her only hope was to find a wizard or a witch that could turn her back to human form. But she didn’t even know where to start!
By sunrise, Allison was so terrified that she seriously considered going back to Mallory and begging for forgiveness. She would have probably done exactly that, if she wasn’t completely lost. She kept wandering until she reached a stream. She started drinking and sobbing at the same time, feeling lonely and completely hopeless.
“What’s wrong, you poor creature?” a sweet female voice interrupted her thoughts. Allison literally jumped from the surprise, and took a few quick steps away. “Don’t be scared. Do you need help?” The voice belonged to a chubby yet pretty woman, who must have been about 6 months pregnant and was washing some clothes in the stream. She looked harmless and she was alone, so Allison timidly approached her, hoping she would be willing to help her. The first thing the woman did was to take Allison’s bit off her mouth. That was encouraging.
The two women spent the next hour sharing their respective stories, while Elizabeth – that was the woman’s name – washed her clothes and packed them in two large sacks. When they started walking towards her farm – where the woman’s husband would hopefully be able to help them find the witch – Allison immediately offered to carry those heavy sacks for her. Yet it soon became apparent that Elizabeth’s pace was getting slower and slower. “My belly is getting heavier every day. Who knows, I might be having twins! Thank you so much for carrying my laundry, sweetheart.”
Allison gave in and decided to trust her: “Why don’t I give you a ride on my back?”
“Oh, thank you. That’s so sweet of you. I don’t know if I can climb on your back in my current state though…”
“Ok. Let me try something.” Allison knelt down on her front legs, like a dressage horse. Her stirrups were now low enough to touch the ground, so Elizabeth could straddle her without having to push herself up. The woman easily found her seat, placed her feet in the stirrups and immediately kicked Allison: “All right, let’s go!” Surprised by the sudden order, Allison immediately got back on her hooves and started walking. She immediately realized that Elizabeth was significantly heavier than Mallory, and her weight seemed to sink a little further into her sore back at every step. “You are so comfortable to ride, with your narrow and flexible back. I feel like a Queen. Let’s go a little faster now!” Elizabeth ordered, adding two slaps on her mount’s butt. That didn’t hurt much, but made Allison fear that the woman would gradually get as demanding as her own sister had. She saw little choice but to obey though, even when Elizabeth decided to put the bit back into her mouth to give her more accurate directions towards the farm. Soon enough, Allison was clearly no longer giving a pregnant woman a ride out of compassion: she was being ridden like an animal. Elizabeth was not particularly harsh or cruel, but her matter-of-fact orders – through bridles, kicks and slaps – were exactly what any beast of burden would have received. She also seemed completely indifferent to the strain that her significant weight was clearly causing on Allison’s human back. By the time they reached the farm, after a long uphill ride, Allison was completely exhausted and didn’t even notice the open-mouthed farmer greeting his own wife, as she finally stopped her mount with a tug of the reins.
“Who… what are you riding, Liz?”
“Seamus, this poor woman was transformed into a donkey, and gave me a delightful ride home. She is looking for help” she told her husband. Then she grabbed a handful of Allison’s hair and pushed her head down, saying: “Let me dismount, sweetie…” Allison correctly guessed the meaning of her order, and humbly kneeled down again to allow a comfortable dismount to the pregnant woman, who started leading her through the bridles while walking alongside her husband.
“I think I know where that witch lives” said Seamus, raising Allison’s hopes. “It would take two days of travel to reach her with our carriage, but there is a problem: our mule is sick! It might even die if I don’t give it a few days of food and rest. And I really need to carry all that wool to the market and sell it.”
“Hmm… perhaps we could hitch Allison to the carriage! She is tiny, but stronger than I expected! Between myself and the wet clothes, she probably had almost 200 pounds on her back. What do you think, sweetie? Would you be our donkey for a couple of days? In exchange, we will take you to the witch and try to persuade her to turn you back into a woman.”
Allison did not really see a choice, so she nodded her consent. The bit did not allow her to talk.
A few minutes later, Seamus had connected longer bridles to her bit and had found a way to fasten her harness to the shafts of his carriage. Now he was loading it with what looked like a mountain of wool. As soon as he was done, he called her wife: “Let’s go Liz, there’s no time to waste!” Seamus and Elizabeth took their seats on the carriage, and Allison’s senses exploded in pain: “Yah!” he yelled while hitting her with a thin long whip. Allison started desperately pulling the heavy carriage, struggling to get going. “She might be too small for all this weight” Liz suggested, but Seamus didn’t seem to listen: “Yah! Yah!” the whip hit Allison’s buttocks over and over again, and soon they were moving. Once Allison gained some momentum, the task of pulling such a heavy carriage didn’t seem impossible anymore. But it was definitely hard work, and Seamus’ vicious whip reminded her at regular intervals that she was supposed to give them her best effort.
Allison started wondering if leaving Mallory had actually improved her situation. Elizabeth had seemed sweet and compassionate, but she had started using her like an animal as soon as she was on her back, and now she was witnessing her husband’s cruel handling without any apparent concern.
“Come on, Seamus! Be more careful” she told her husband at one point. But she was only complaining about all the potholes the man was hitting with the carriage’s wheels, which made her back hurt. “You know what? I have a better solution” she added. “Stop the carriage.” The bit pulled harshly into Allison’s cheeks and the donkey-woman stopped, thankful to get a little break. Elizabeth stepped off the carriage and approached Allison. She disconnected the long bridles from Allison’s bit, and placed her original shorter ones back in place. Then she hit Allison’s side with a short riding crop, which she must have thoughtfully taken with her. “When I do this, it’s you command to kneel and let me mount you” she said. How quickly she had gone from chatting with her by the river to teaching her new commands! Allison’s increasing concerns didn’t stop her from obeying, as she really had little choice but to trust her new masters. They continued their journey with Elizabeth riding comfortably on Allison’s flexible back, while the donkey-woman kept pulling the carriage with Seamus and the wool. Elizabeth was not as harsh as her husband with the bridles, and her riding crop didn’t hurt as much as the long whip. But her weight seemed to sink a little deeper into Allison’s back at every step.
When they reached the market two days later, Allison was beyond exhausted. Her back hurt so much that she couldn’t help but sob and cry several times, but the pregnant woman didn’t seem to notice and continued her comfortable ride on her back, without dismounting for hours at a time. She also hit her with the riding crop every time she slowed her pace. After some time, she realized that it was more convenient for her to hit Allison on her shoulders and neck, instead of turning back to target her buttocks. However, when they stopped for the night Elizabeth nursed her and then curled up to her to sleep. It was probably a way to use her as a warm pillow, but it was the first human contact Allison received since her transformation, except that of her riders’ buttocks and thighs on her back. She felt very grateful.
Seamus successfully sold all of his wool, and bought a new mule with part of the proceedings. This meant that Allison didn’t have to pull the carriage anymore! But when she saw that Elizabeth was about to climb on the carriage, next to her husband, she surprised herself by nuzzling the woman and then kneeling down in front of her. “It looks like someone wants you to have the most comfortable ride” Seamus said, laughing. “She seems to love you!”
That’s when Allison became Elizabeth’s personal mount. The woman rode her every day and kept pushing her limits of strength and endurance, always using the whip with abandon. She kept demanding that Allison kneel down for her to mount and dismount more easily, even after she gave birth to a beautiful daughter. The donkey-woman started spontaneously kissing her owner’s feet every time she was made to kneel, to demonstrate her submission and affection. It was clear that she still had human feelings, but she soon stopped talking and increasingly acted like a small farm animal. The topic of finding the witch to have her spell reversed was never raised anymore. Elizabeth’s occasional demonstrations of affection were what Allison lived for.
Years later, Seamus and Elizabeth hit some financial difficulties. So when a young woman made a generous offer, they saw no choice but to sell Allison to her. The woman paid the agreed amount and immediately mounted the donkey-woman with a confident attitude, landing heavily on her back. “Oh, yeah. No other animal could be this comfortable…” she said.
“What is your name, young woman?” Elizabeth asked.
“My name is Mallory, and it was great to do business with you. I feel like I was meant to own this little mount!”
“She has served me very well. Please treat her as she deserves.”
“That’s exactly what I will do. Goodbye!” Mallory said, hitting her step-sister painfully several times with a dressage whip, until she was galloping for her life. Life was good once again.