His children, who loved the little donkey, begged him to sell it rather than harm it. The farmer said; "it's wrong to sell an animal that cannot do a good day's work."
Then his oldest daughter suggested, "Father, tie the donkey to a tree on the road to town, and say whoever wants it may take it for nothing". The next morning, that's what the farmer did.
Soon, two men approached and asked if they could have the donkey. "It can carry almost nothing", the farmer told them.
The men took the animal to Jesus, who stroked the grateful donkey's face and then mounted it and rode away. It was on the day we call Palm Sunday; Jesus led his followers into the city of Jerusalem riding on the back of a small, common donkey.
The donkey so loved his gentle master that he later followed him to Calvary. Grief-stricken by the sight of Jesus on the cross, the donkey turned away but couldn't leave. It was then that the shadow of the cross fell upon the shoulders and the back of the donkey, and there it stayed. All donkeys have borne the sign of the cross on their backs since that very day.