Summer school donkey visits

Feeding apples and carrots to the donkeys

Matilde likes being the centre of attention, particularly when there is food involved. 


This page is for children and teachers visiting the donkeys during the Summer School programme. At the foot of this page are some links to follow-up activities that teachers may want to use in the classroom.



About the donkeys:



Matilde is a six year old part-Andalusian mixed breed donkey with the classic dark brown donkey cross on her back, and she is also lately beginning to develop a distinctive dappled colouring of dark brown spots over her mostly grey coat. She is much bigger than the others and she carries a pack saddle with bags. She is quite happy to carry a load of 50 kilos. Matilde likes being brushed, but doesn’t like too much fuss: she is not a donkey for cuddling!



Aitana is three years old. She is a very pretty donkey and very cuddly, but the thing to watch out for is that she will reach out and tap you on the leg lightly with her hoof, offering you her front leg: but do not take hold of her foot as she will then rear up!  Rearing must be avoided for safety reasons.

Morris patrols the manger to see if food has arrived yet


Morris is also three years old. At present he is being trained with long-reins to pull the donkey cart and he does it quite well. He licks everything so he will probably want to lick you. He is very affectionate and is the best candidate for smaller children who want to cuddle a donkey.




Rubí is five years old. She is Morris’s mother and she is the “Eeyore” of the family: she spends the day mostly apart from the others, gazing into the distance, wondering if today is Tuesday. She will occasionally reach out and do a “play” bite, a light nip on your shoulder, leg or arm, but without closing her jaw to squeeze the skin. I think this is just to check you are real and not a figment of her imagination. You can cuddle Rubí but she doesn’t care whether you do or not.

Donkey activities:
For younger children here are some links to donkey activities  There are also galleries of previous years’ donkey photos in the menus under the blog banner above ( 2011 is the year of the foals, with the photos of baby donkeys!)



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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3 Responses to Summer school donkey visits

  1. gracewm says:

    they are all lovely donkeys…….and so gentle.the children must love them!!!

  2. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes, the donkeys are very good with children. They always have a few children gathered around them when I walk up to the village and tether them outside the Bar Cantonet, but this is the biggest group of children they have experienced and they are remarkably patient.

    The main benefit of this kind of visit is the children can have contact with the animals, brush them and cuddle them, and alsolearn something about donkeys.

  3. Cath says:

    The pictures are beautiful. Donkeys just look gentle. I was surprised though that Rubi has become a ‘loner’. In one of your videos you show how much interaction there is among the four.Perhaps you should have a birthday party for Rubi to cheer her up.She will receive of course a ‘useful pot to put things in’ and a deflated balloon but first you must buy some huny or is it hunny I forget.

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