Felices Navidades su Majestad la Reina Sofia, Patrona de los Burros de España, y a todos los demas que les gustan nuestro blog.
Happy Christmas to Her Majesty Queen Sofia, Patroness of Spanish Donkeys, and all others who enjoy reading this blog.
Here are the donkeys in their customary Christmas Santa hats. Matilde is recovering well from her injury a few weeks ago, and a slight lump on her nose remains but she is otherwise fine. Aitana is still feeding from her at two years and three months, but we all turn away and pretend to not notice any more. Rubí is standing in the corner of the field with her back to us, trying to work out the point of Fermat’s Theorem, and her son Morris continues to be spooked by dreams of the menacing drain covers of Finestrat.
Naturally, this kind of annual media event requires careful planning and preparation. When working with animals, we always have to carefully lead them with reassurances and clear commands about the expected behaviour. The video below shows my team talk to the donks, prior to the Santa hats photo session. As you can see, they are paying close attention to every word.
The subsequent twenty minutes of struggle with head collars, lead ropes and Santa hats – finally leading to a successful line-up at the manger – is a tribute to the donkeys’ excellent memory. As soon as they saw the Santa hats, we had revolution. “Oh no, the Santa hats: we’re not having that nonsense again…”
Luckily, I was not too seriously injured in the chaos that ensued, and we managed to get the Santa hats on and everyone lined up for the photos… Afterwards, they had a reward of carob beans, still wearing Santa hats.
Update Sunday 22 December
Here are Matilde and Aitana outside the Bar Cantonet in Finestrat for
their my pre-Christmas Estrella Galicia beer. A brisk walk through the late afternoon sun, and an even quicker walk home in the fading light and falling temperatures.