For those people who messaged me, worried that my donkey may have been on the loose over the weekend, thank you but it was not my beast of burden. Our donkey was shipped out years ago when we found a new home for our sheep.
Of course, I’m not sure what farm he calls home at the moment. If he is still in the area, it could very well be the same donkey who used to earn his keep watching over the sheep at our farm. He sure did enjoy a springtime escape and walkabout.
One foggy morning a few years ago, I was headed down the road to work when the pre-dawn mist cleared in front of me to reveal two big butts. The little grey one belonged to Donkey and the big gold one belonged to our Belgian horse, Misty.
I slammed on the brakes and climbed out of the car to give chase. I tried running circles around them like a sheepdog and then I remembered that Donkey would do just about anything for an apple. I went back to the kitchen and grabbed a few. Within about ten minutes I had the two of them back in the barnyard, safely secured. I even made it to work on time.
I think Donkey could get out of just about any gate if he really put his mind to it. He would spend hours nibbling at locks and chains with his dexterous lips, using them like fingers. Sometimes he got out and visited the horses down the road. Many times I would glance up and find him calmly nibbling the flowers in my garden.
Occasionally Donkey used his powers for good. One night at dusk he broke through the yard gate and came to the kitchen window. It was getting dark, but I saw the whites of his eyes. I don’t know what his next plan would have been if I hadn’t seen him.
When we went outside, Donkey headed off down the field at a clip. That’s when we noticed the sheep weren’t in the barnyard. We jumped on the ATV and followed Donkey, who led us to the sheep in the back pasture. They had climbed through a hole in the fence but when dark fell, they couldn’t find their way back out. As we opened the gate and Donkey led them back up to the barn, we could hear the eerie choir of coyotes singing behind us.
That rescue gained Donkey a few points, but the next day he erased them by wandering over to the neighbour’s house and peering in her patio door as she sipped her coffee.