Friends divided by motherhood

It is such a shame, but in this idyllic setting, the conditioning of millions of years in the wild has kicked in. Instinct has taught them how to mother their babes. But instinct has taught the mothers that they are now rivals in the preservation of their genes. I arrived home to from work today and fed the mothers while the two foals rested or fed on mother’s milk. Then I tried a brief experiment of taking down the fence separating the two mothers with foal-at-foot. Mistake. This was the only photo because I had to go swiftly into action, as Morris tried to gambol with Aitana playfully but was quickly headed off by Matilde, then Ruby kicked Aitana and I had to fly in as referee to stop the match. Fence now up again and donks separated. I shall not do that again in a hurry!

The standing up sequence here shows the lovely long legs of Aitana in movement. I find her very awkwardness graceful. Is that a contradiction? She is going to be bigger than her mother, I think. That will make her the size of a horse.

Update 11pm 3rd October.
The donks need to reflect on the way Christians should love each other and stop being norty donks motivated by pure instinct! On Damian Thompson’s Daily Telegraph blog, this G.K.Chesterton poem was just posted:
The Donkey
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


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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7 Responses to Friends divided by motherhood

  1. Hey Nonny No says:

    just wait till their gcse results come in…..then you’ll see competitive mothering.

  2. Ben Carter says:

    They are lovely Gareth! Well done girls!

  3. trof4st says:

    Un lugar para cada cosa y cada cosa en su lugar. 😉

  4. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    I get Chestie’s point but he’s way too hard on donkeys and their looks. What does ‘e know?

  5. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    PS Have you read Susan Chitty’s ‘Great Donkey Trek’ across Spain, France and Greece in the ’70s?

  6. Geert Bakker says:

    Arriving without notice, born with the helmet, standing up like a cow; life is full of surprises!

    Your video shows something peculiar. Aitana was obviously (?) born with the helmet or caul. That could mean a few things for her later development of character and life. See: – A caul (Latin: Caput galeatum, literally, “helmeted head”) is a thin, filmy membrane, the amnion, that can cover a newborn’s head and face immediately after birth. – VIII.- CUSTOMS AND SUPERSTITIONS CONNECTED WITH BIRTH, MARRIAGE, AND DEATH:
    Birth. – Precautions taken to Preserve Women after Child-birth and Children before Baptism front Evil Influences and Fairies; Powers of a Posthumous Child, &c,; Virtues of Salt, and of a Caul.

    The lovely 4 pics of Aitana standing up also show something surprising (to me). She stands up like a cow. The layman in me would expect that she should follow the horse’s tradition of standing up with the front legs first.

    Please show us how mother does it and whether daughter later follows her example. What about Morris and his mother?

    What does Aitana mean? ?
    Congrats again; what a gift! I’ll light a candle for all of you at the Brown Madonna!

  7. Frere Rabit says:

    Geert, I think both mothers stand front legs first, but I’ll watch again next time. Aitana does seem unusual in her method. I think she first stood front legs when she was five minutes out of her mother, then changed her approach. It does look a bit wrong! I’ll video it at some point.

    Thanks everyone else for comments too. Very busy time, and teaching too… What a start to the school year! The kids love the pictures and the daily stories about the foals.

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