When Barbara visited in December and helped me to select another donkey from Paco in the Sierra Bernia, we found Matilde, who I hadn’t noticed previously because I was besotted with the classic ‘pretty donkey’ Rubi who I had immediately bought on first sight! Matilde is, however, a much more practical donkey for my purpose, i.e. carrying a pack saddle.
The only complication was that she was pregnant, due to foal in August 2011. So I bought her with a long term view, for walking the Camino de Santiago in 2012 after her time with foal at foot. Later, in February as we were discussing the plan to move the two donkeys from Sierra Bernia to Elca Seriu, I asked Paco if she had been tested for pregnancy. No, but he was ‘pretty sure’ Matilde was pregnant… Not quite as definite as his first confident pronouncement in December! Comparing the photo of Matilde taken in December (above) with a photo taken just now (below), there is a definite difference in her shape, and looking at her belly it is certainly lower than before. That may, however, be simply due to a change of diet. These two donks have eaten a whole pasture in the space of three weeks and reduced it to dust, as if they were a pair of over sized long eared locusts.
I cannot afford to get the vet out here to do a pregnancy test or a scan on Matilde, as I am just surviving on the meagre pay I get from my teaching job. (I also have to plan for an unpaid long summer break, so I am putting aside my rent money for July, August and September!) I have just come up with a brilliant idea to solve the mystery. Will it work? I am thinking of buying a simple pregnancy testing kit from a chemists shop and simply collect a sample from Matilde next time she has a wee. Any ideas, folks? Would that be completely mad?