Well, they finally did it. They got in their conveyance and went to see how dear little TJ is faring at the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. I'm not sure what posessed them or why they would want to re-enter the dangerous world of the mini-mule but then again they often do things that are a complete mystery to me. At least they didn't ask me to accompany them.
I will reconstruct the visit as best I can from the woman's babblings. When they arrived TJ was in a small paddock with four other donkeys, including Wilson. "OoooooTJ, it's me", said the woman. TJ squinted at her and barged his way through the group. He snatched a carrot and retreated to the far corner, cheeks bulging in chipmunk fashion. The others all received carrots and though TJ tried to purloin those carrots too, the others stood their ground. It would seem he has acquired at least the rudiments of basic herd manners and has the scars and scrapes to show for it. Wilson the two year old donkey got very excited and began putting TJ in headlocks and grabbing his hocks and yanking on his tail. At last, someone who can stoop to TJ's low level of social interaction and who operates at his high level of energy.
The humans had a lovely tour of the sanctuary and met all twenty or so donkey residents. The woman was particularly taken by an ancient, dignified and exteremely hirsute donkey called Amos so I have included a photo of him with his equally ancient white friend Brennan and a blind younger female donkey called Patsy whom they watch over like elderly guardians. A young upstart called Charlie began chasing Patsy and the two older gentlemen rushed (slowly) to her rescue and cut off the hoodlum, placing Patsy between them. Charlie was banished to another paddock - maybe TJ should be in there with him - kind of a donkey Alcatraz.
Jack and I were both concerned that the woman would return home with TJ strapped into the back seat but even she seems to realize that he is where he needs to be, in a group setting with lots of activity and Jack is where he needs to be, in a small group where things move along at a tranquil and orderly pace. "Upon my word", Jack said "if she hada returned home with that youngun in tow, I woulda needed a whole keg ev nerve tonic." Amen to that.