Regular readers of the blog will know that my model for keeping donkeys was my friend Barbara’s pair of Jennies, Dalie and Rosie. Donkeys need companionship, so having two is a good plan. The problem is when you want to take one away walking for a while, the separation poses problems, particularly for the animal left behind. Barbara now has a solution in the form of Filou the mule (pictured above).
This new member of Barbara’s family had been standing around in a field for the last five years. ‘Apart from the state of his feet, horribly overgrown, he seems pretty fit,’ she tells me. ‘He is about seven or eight years old, and seems calm and happy. This may be because he is no longer enroute to the abattoir…. The deal was, find him a home or off he goes, the field is needed.’
I don’t know much about mules, apart from how they happen. A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a mare. They were typically the main agricultural animals in this part of Spain, doing all the pulling work in the fields, while donkeys were mainly used for transport.
PS. While on the subject of equine breeding, the story of the revival of the quagga makes fascinating reading. http://www.quaggaproject.org/