Happy Christmas to all our readers

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.



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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10 Responses to Happy Christmas to all our readers

  1. Sandy Morris says:

    Awwwwwww! Thanks for this,and a very happy and merry Christmas to you,and the lovely Donks
    Thanks for your blog,which I enjoy,and I love the videos.

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Thank you, Sandy. The donks are indeed lovely and it is always a pleasure to share them with others. Happy Christmas to you.

  3. Alys says:

    Ooooh! Aaaah! Aren’t they lovely?! – Just so as not to disappoint the Donks and to reassure them that their cooperation was not in vain! Glad the Donks are well and in their usual festive spirits. The fifth equine looks very jolly too! Happy Christmas everybody! Jing jing! Alys xxx

  4. gracem says:

    merry christmas to you and your lovely donkeys!

  5. Frere Rabit says:

    Thank you to all who have left comments. The donkeys have taken Finestrat by storm with their Santa hats: it’s always appreciated, especially by the village children. Everyone wants their photos taken with the donkeys in Santa hats! These days, with mobile phones, everyone has a camera ready.

  6. Luisa says:

    Merry Christmas to you & donkey family!

  7. Well done, lovely photos! Merry Christmas to you and the donkeys.

  8. Alys says:

    White ‘powder puff’ on head collars looks very festive!

  9. Troll says:

    Comment removed.

    banyulsbilly@gmail.com (IP address – Netherlands)

  10. Frere Rabit says:

    My earlier reply to “Troll” has been removed now that his troll identity has been connected with a series of time-wasting comments from a variety of IP addresses.

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