There is something very satisfying about harvesting produce you have grown yourself. As I pull the runner beans from the plants and fill a bucket, the donkeys stand there salivating and making half braying orgasmic grunts. It is worse than Wimbledon. In the end, I had no alternative but to pick a bucket of beans for me and a bucket of beans for them. Mugged by the donks once more.
Through the year here, I have been getting to know where the few remaining local donkeys are. Just two hundred metres away from Carrefour, going down the hill to Cala and Benidorm, there is a small field with two donks. They have no shelter, but clearly they get regular feed every day. They are a Jack and a Jenny, the Jack similar colouring to Rubi and the Jenny similar colouring to Matilde, a classic grey Spanish donkey immortalised by Jimenez in Platero y Yo.
I called to them and they came to see me. For a while, I toyed with the idea of asking the owner whether they are for sale…
And then I suddenly came back to reality. It is not just the cost of extra feed, but extra vets bills, farrier work, etc. And of course, the paperwork. Maybe I will take them carrots sometimes.
AFTERTHOUGHT… If I bought them and asked people to sponsor them, this could be the start of a donkey sanctuary. Tempting.