Donkey cart to St Savin

Today I rode into St Savin with Dalie donkey and the cart. It was a very cold bright day. The donkey was full of energy and went at a brisk trot for most of the way.

On arrival in St Savin we made our way to the boulangerie. Dalie was given a feast of stale bread. Then we went to the abbaye in St Savin to look at the Christmas crib. When I say “we”, I mean of course just me, as Dalie – being a donkey – is not allowed to go inside the abbey and look at the Christmas crib. Even though donkeys normally play a starring role in the Nativity arrangements, together with oxen. The St Savin Christmas crib was a disconcerting experience…

The Baby Jesus was a terrible monster who seemed like a benign Frankenstein in nappies, surrounded by sheep the size of mice, and a strange shepherd with a moustache resembling Groucho Marx. The scene was so overcrowded it would have been quite appropriate to quote Groucho’s line from A Night at the Opera when they are all crowded into the stateroom on the steamship: “Is it my imagination, or is it getting crowded in here?”

And finally there was a strange angel with a coin slot, inviting the public to give some money to Jesus. Probably one of the most blatant religious con tricks I have ever seen. Obviously this money is NOT going to Jesus. The Trade Descriptions Act should be properly enforced by the local gendarmerie. This kind of outrage should prompt a raid by les flics and the abbe should be under house arrest pending an enquiry.

On the way home, Dalie decided to do the full donkey philosophical enquiry regarding a puddle in the path. This had to be considered carefully for an hour before the concept could be properly understood and the problem was solved, finally leading us to progress home. Donkeys do really like to play drama queens…


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca. I like to listen to BBC Radio 4 and the wind in the pine trees. I am writing a comedy about a school in Benidorm. My favourite film of all time is "Jean de Florette". If I had my time again I would not have spent the early 1970s working for Special Branch.
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One Response to Donkey cart to St Savin

  1. jennilaidman says:

    I don’t know which I respect more: a donkey with the good sense to stay out of puddles or the angel con artist.

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