I have not had time to write up the latest news, as I am back in school at the start of the new term and also I had family staying until today, so it has been a hectic week. The new vet came on Tuesday, a very helpful specialist equine vet called Alicia, who came highly recommended by local people with horses. She did a thorough internal examination of the two donkeys.
Poor Matilde was first and she did not like it at all. We had a real fight on our hands. Alicia made me hold Matilde by her ears, twisted around so she would not move too much. I did not like doing that to Matilde and I held her ears too lightly, so she broke free and trod on my foot!
It was a surprise when Alicia, at the end of her probing, said, “There’s nothing there. Nothing at all.”
Has Matilde been faking it all this time, to mirror the genuinely pregnant Rubi? It is a mystery. Even the vet says Matilde looks pregnant. But females who are close together can sometimes behave as if they are pregnant ‘in sympathy’. How weird. Why would you want to do that?
Then Alicia did an examination of Rubi and said there is a live foal ready to come out. It could arrive any time, but in three weeks at the latest! That is pretty bad luck for my daughter Alys, who flew home today after five weeks of hoping to see a new-born foal. However, now that I am back at work, there has been sufficient interest among teachers to propose a barbecue at my place in the second week in October – when it is still warm and sunny here (gloat…) – in order to welcome the new foal.
Having believed from the outset that Matilde was the pregnant donkey, I still find it hard to believe that this stroppy little feather-headed two-year old donkey Rubi is going to be a mother. As a teacher of Key Stage 3 pupils over a long period, and having suffered the irrational excesses of rude fourteen year old girls on their worst behaviour, I can’t help seeing Rubi as a donkey who never does her homework, chats her way through the play reading of Romeo and Juliet, gets caught smoking on the school bus and ends up pregnant so she doesn’t have to suffer the indignity of studying GCSEs.