A full eclipse of the Morris

The foals are one week old!

The first of the two foals, Morris was born a week ago yesterday, and since I first saw him standing there – still wet from the birth – he has retained his complete look of surprise at everything around him! From the start, he has slept in the stable at night on a soft bed of straw in the far end of the stable where I have put a single wooden bar across to make a safe area accessed only by the dog-sized foals, to prevent adults trampling them. I have felt rather guilty for fencing off the field while the mothers were at war, as this meant Aitana had to sleep out in the open while Morris was in a nice sheltered stable. But the fence is now down and the mothers are getting close again.

For the first time this morning, I found all four animals in the stable and it appears the mothers have now ceased to regard each other as a threat: they can be close friends again.

Returning to Morris, I have had to attend to his eyes each morning and evening. In fact Aitana only had her first grooming yesterday because my limited time in the working week meant that I had to address the most important issues. With Morris, it appears that he is constantly crying, with water streaming down from his eyes. Either he has been born a saintly donkey with the holy gift of tears, or there is something wrong. The vet inspected the nasal cavities yesterday and she thinks that the tract connecting nose and eyes may be blocked. A remedy was not immediately found.

I put up the video with Aitana getting her first grooming yesterday. Due to the fact that YouTube takes so long to upload these good quality videos done with a JVC camcorder, I edited out the session with Morris. Several people have sent me emails saying they wanted to see Morris on my lap being groomed too! Well, there is a good reason why this doesn’t make a good video: he is jumping all over the place, but also his mother Rubi comes in and positions herself between the camera and the Morris grooming! I have tried not to put bad photography on my blog if it can be avoided, but I am happy to respond to requests for it. OK, you wanted it folks… Here it is.

So, I hope you are all happy with that rare footage of a full eclipse of the Morris.

Aitana had her first walk on a lead rope yesterday. I bought a foal head-collar, but it was still too big for Aitana. I doubled over the neck strap and it was just about safe. (It will be a week or more before Morris could grow into it.) We went just five hundred metres up the road with her mother Matilde following behind looking anxious. Mother forced the return to the safety of the home field by standing in the middle of the road, refusing to walk any further after we reached the top of the little hill above the farmhouse. We ran back home, mother leading, followed by foal, followed by Brotherlapin making breathless squeaking noises…

Aitana is a week old today. I think the sudden surprise of her birth (to Matilde that the vet had said was not pregnant!) will remain with me for the rest of my life. It was a wonderful thing to watch, as perhaps is the miracle of new life in all parts of God’s creation. Deo gratias!


About Gareth Thomas

After a mixed career as an aircraft technician, London fringe theatre playwright, Franciscan friar, and secondary school teacher, I find myself dividing my time mostly between looking after the needs of four donkeys in a remote location in the mountains in the Costa Blanca and preparing a legal case against the corrupt management of my monstrous last employer - the Elians group - for unfair dismissal. I like to hear the wind in the pine trees. I do not like struggling to get a duvet into a duvet cover. My musical tastes are extinct and I have mostly given up cycle racing.
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