In praise of beans

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.


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 In praise of beans

  1. Barbara says:

    They do tend to accumulate, don’t they? Right now we have three extra dogs, property of a friend who is unable to have them for a while as she recovers from an injury. And of course the 4.75 cats, fourteen hens, our two dogs, donkeys and a mule. Some months I think the vet is using us to finance her next holiday. Then I remember how many little extras the fail to charge us for, and go hug a furry. The hens have learned to come for hand feeding at drinks time on the terrace, which means buying extra peanuts, too!

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