Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Renovation of Jack

Life continues on calmly and peacefully here - makes for a nice change for me from just a week ago. Jack has quickly figured out the daily routine and is first at the barn door to go into his stall and have his bowl of gruel and full hay net. He lay down in his stall for the first time the night before last and snored up a storm. He makes odd tooth sucking noises when he dreams but that seems to come with his advanced age.

Two days ago the woman and her tall friend decided it was too hot for Jack to go around in his mouldering fur coat and that they would clip him. He was really quite good, especially since it was probably his first time with the noisy machines being run all over his person. He emerged with bare patches but is also showing signs of a shiny black coat here and there. Right now he looks a lot like a hearth rug that has bald spots from flying embers.

The women stood back and, heads on one side, eyes squinting, they examined Jack's new self - I could have told him about that look; it never bodes well. "He needs a bath," they said. I simply shuddered and slid off behind the barn. They decided to use the water in the trough because it's quite warm owing to the heat wave. They began with a bucket of soapy water and, all three of them describing rapid circles, the humans quickly became soaked - Jack less so. Jack became so annoyed that at one point he stepped into the water trough on his own, slipped, and sat down abruptly. He and the tall woman stared at each other and I'm not sure who looked more surprised. Summoning the remains of his dignity, Jack stepped out. This incident caused the women to become nearly hysterical with laughter and as all three spun around during the rinse cycle, they became quite dizzy with heat and giddiness. The whole thing was a shocking spectacle. Once released, Jack departed for the riding ring, where he quickly covered all signs of his spa treatment with sand.

He is a generally quiet fellow, being more of an observer. Today he confided "I think the woman may be a bit touched but I like the set-up. I think I'll stay". Exhausted with the effort of so much speechifying, he went back to his hay net.


billie said...

It sounds like Jack is going to fit right in!

I'm happy he is beginning to reveal himself a bit and that he is feeling good about his new home.

One question: donkey baths. HOW? Rafer Johnson RUNS. He will now allow sponging with cool water on his neck and chest, and cheeks, but he is having no part of anything that involves hose and water running and shampoo.

He has created a dust pit in the middle of the paddock - a perfect circular area that he uses many times a day to maintain the exact right dust layer on his very fluffy coat.

He adores being groomed but of course the instant it's over he feels it completely necessary and part of the process to march to the dust pit and roll!

Do donkeys ever come to enjoy baths like my horses do?

robert5721 said...

It really sounds like you have found a buddy for life, as his handling of the women is much like your own. I am overjoyed to hear that he wants to stay there with you....sure beats TJ the Terror, don't it? The sand job cover up must have been hysterical!! You must explain to the women that "Donkeys do this sort of thing", and that they should EXPECT it.
Mr Gale

ponymaid said...

Rafer Johnson holds sound views on the subject of baths. Our motto is "Run fast, run far". Donkeys were not meant to be cleansed with water - we prefer the dust method, which is why I never shake after rolling. Humans are of another opinion, as Jack discovered, but he swears it won't happen again. We're very particular about the maintenance of our dust bathing areas, as Rafer is demonstrating.

Mr. Gale, your other half has revealed her cunning and complex system of donkey bathing to the woman and I confess it strikes terror in my very soul. We donkeys are most particular about our dust content and are bothered no end by the removal of any of it. Nothing upsets our olfactory sense more than the aroma of fruity-floral shampoo all over our persons. Shudder.