Sitting with donkeys

The donkey foals sleep a lot, like all babies, and for the past three months it has been my regular habit to sit down in the dust and have a quiet time with the foals when they are resting. Since I do nearly all the photography myself for this blog, it has been difficult until now to get some shots of me sitting with the foals. At last, an opportunity arose while I had family staying recently and the shots appearing here were taken by my daughter Alys. Click on photos for full-size

Sitting down with Morris attracts the attention of his mother Rubi who comes over to join in. She stands over me and rubs her chin on my head, then sways from side to side over her foal and I, rubbing against my shoulder. This is quite an established pattern of behaviour but this is the first opportunity to catch it on camera.

I move over to sit with Aitana and she is really sleepy and soppy, making snoring noises and grunting occasionally when I rub between her ears. Unlike the situation with Rubi and her foal, Aitana’s mother Matilde is not interested in joining us but keeps her distance.

Finally, having observed me with the other donkeys and not wanting to miss out on the display of affection, Matilde came over to where I was sitting and licked my face. This was a very rare occurence. (Was it just for the camera?) It was very brief: almost a gesture! Then she walked off.


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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4 Responses to Sitting with donkeys

  1. karin says:

    Lovely pics, both of the donks and you! It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow up! Enjoy, they’ll be full grown before you know. But having a grown up daughter…you do!

  2. pilgrimpace says:

    beautiful to see! Go well,


  3. The photographs get more and more encouraging. We haven’t got the mare down from the mountains yet because there is too much snow. She must have a donkey friend immediately – she has been alone too long and your donks are really convincing and so loving. May Fr. Stephen in New York see your blog? He has just lost a dog.

  4. Frere Rabit says:

    Of course, Father Stephen is welcome, Rosemary! It’s a public blog anyway, so there are no restrictions. I have to approve posts because there is the occasional malicious post, unfortunately (you know who, the wild bunch from the DT blog!)

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