Introducing… my donkey

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I don’t know her name yet. The present owner’s vet has possession of all the paperwork for the thirty donkeys he owns and he doesn’t know them all by name. I await her name withthe earnestness with which Don Quixote thumbed through books of knight errantry looking at the importance of the favoured lady’s name. Romeo paid similar attention to seeking Juliet’s name at the masked ball. My lovely also wears a mask: the eye markings of the classic brown donkey.

This is my first donkey, so she is very special. All the time I had been following my plan to buy a two or three year old female – small but of no particular breed – and then try to acquire one of the rare pure-bred giant Andaluz donkeys. (This is for contrast, in stable and when walking, and they will be companion animals celebrating their differences.) When I saw this yearling donkey, my plan went out of the stable window. She had to be my donkey! It will be a very long time before she can be trained to carry anything, so I am aware of the consequences of not sticking to my plan. Also, being so young, she will probably outlive me by several years. There is something rather good about that idea: the care I shower upon her will continue to have its effect in the world for some time after I have breathed my last. She is really lovely: a curious creature who responds to attention immediately.

My daughter, who came to stay for a few days, was pleased to be present when I saw my donkey for the first time. She held the halter and my donkey briefly objected and pulled her head away. Excellent: she is her own donkey person. She is not going to be led forward on the Camino without examining the problem first and entering into a vigorous debate.

She will stay in the present owner’s stable with the other donkeys until I have found the second one, a giant Andaluz, and I will visit her and take her treats, so she will get to know me as the kind rabit piligrimin who brings the carrots…


About Gareth Thomas

A fairly mixed career starting as an aircraft technician and later Franciscan friar eventually led into secondary school teaching. I settled in Spain where I teach Geography part-time and spend the rest of my time looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I have two blogs: a geography blog and a donkey blog.
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11 Responses to Introducing… my donkey

  1. Karin says:

    I have to say, she is beautiful! Really, a looker. May her personality be the same!!

  2. Barbara says:

    Ahhhhh. Give her a carrot!

  3. RatBag says:

    I agree with Karin. That is a really pretty donkey! Irresistable!

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    It’s very funny this evening! I have had a conversation with my Andalucian gipsy donkey specialist, just to update him on the situation. It sounds a bit noisy his end; is he going ballistic in the Grenadine mode, with hand-clapping and stamping? He thinks it is a big mistake to buy a yearling for 600 euros and if we just drive down to Andalucia we could get a yearling for 200 euros!

    That would be a rather sad animal, traumatised by being herded with a bunch of donks who are being picked off for the ganaderia – the meat market. I don’t even want to think about it…

  5. rebrites says:

    Hooray for you, Rabit! I think you got a great deal, even if your friend thinks the price is too high. This way, the person selling the donkey is happy with his money, you are happy with your donk, and said donk is happy in her new home! Sounds like a winner all around!

    And then there is the beautiful soft face, those dark eyes, those comely ears… I cannot see her hoofs, but I am sure they are charming, too — nothing more sweet than a donkey-foot!

  6. Toad says:

    If you had gone down with your dubious china to Andaluz to save 400 euros, you would have spent at least that much buying off cops and bar owners, and paying for broken crockery and ‘damages.’.

    And you would not have the best donkey in the world at the end of it. Here you do.
    Do not call her Lady Gaga, please.

    Madonna, perhaps, if Morena is too, well, usual?

  7. Geert Bakker says:

    What a beauty! Many happy years together!

  8. Frere Rabit says:

    This was – of course – the feast of the Immaculate Conception – and being a rabit of a most Catholic kind (zizz paws in the manera Romanitas), I cannot help but notice a curiously prophetic element creeping in here…

    I was received into the Catholic Church on 8th December 1992 in Normandy by the bishop of Coutances. Now I have been received into the company of those who have care for donkeys on the 8th December 2010. At the age of 18, in Catholic years, I have achieved adulthood and am ready to be initiated into the wisdom of donkeys.

    In an earlier post, I said I wanted ‘saints for my field’. It now seems my sainted donkey arrives with Our Lady’s blessing, on her special day. Praise the Lord.

    VOICES OFF: (mutter mutter) Stone the rabit! (mutter mutter) Stone him! And his donkey… (rage) Two false beards and three packets of gravel please.

  9. Marie says:

    Congrats, Gareth on your donkdom. I am a friend of Dalie, who lived here with my donk for a while. My donk looks just like your new donk. Is she called Concepcion??? Mine is called Goudimel – was called Bigoudie (hair roller) but it was rather infra dig so I changed it (any early church music lovers out there?) and he still hears ‘Goodie’ so no change for him. He has the adorable eyes also.

    Next time you walk here they should meet.

    Until then – enjoy your donks. They are fantastic people.

  10. Frere Rabit says:

    Hello Marie,

    I don’t know what my donk is called yet 😦 The vet has all the papers and the owner has thirty donks, so doesn’t know all their names. I won’t name her until I find what name is on her paperwork. I will be staying with Barbara over Christmas and seeing Dalie and Rosie. Are you nearby? I can come and see your donk. (Barbara will be here in two days time, then we return to France on the 23rd December.)

  11. Pingback: Introducing… my second donkey |

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