Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Narrow Escape

I knew the woman's enforced donkey diet austerity program would nearly be the death of me. It's all very well using draconian measures to control my caloric intake but she shouldn't be surprised when I'm forced to take counter measures of my own. A starving donkey is a creative donkey.

The woman had taken Molly into the barn and tied her up preparatory to grooming and getting her into her trail gear. Doc was loitering around the back of the barn and Jack was licking the salt block and swatting flies with his tail. I was staring through the gate that keeps us away from the hay stockpile and thinking that with a bit of ingenuity, I could access the lot. In six years I have never been able to achieve this goal. I stuck my nose through and inhaled the wonderful grassy aroma. I closed my eyes, turned my head sideways and voila! I was through. I browsed at my leisure but when I tried to extricate myself, found I was stuck fast.

I tried everything I could think of and finally, in a blind panic, lifted the twelve foot gate off it's hinges, pulled the chain fastener out of it's slot and carried off the whole thing. I charged at the doors but the damnable thing wouldn't fit. When I backed up rapidly, it toppled me over. The woman opened the door into the barn and rushed toward me and I tried to get in there. The noise was astonishing - clang, boing, bong - it followed me everywhere. Doc heard the commotion and rushed to my aid. I charged toward him and the gate cut his legs out from under him. Now he and I were lying stunned on the manaic gate. I gave an almighty heave and it released it's vise-like grip; I galloped off down the paddock before it could regroup itself.

Throughout all this the woman had been desperately trying to calm me and wrestle the gate off my neck and she stood in the midst of the wreckage, looking absolutely stunned. Jack had hidden in the trees at the first sign of trouble and Doc said "Cool, now we can climb right inta the food". Molly had watched the whole thing with a look of utter disgust and hadn't moved a muscle. The woman was afraid she would panic too and pull the whole barn down, but it just confirmed her view that boys are "stoopid".

My neck is a tad stiff but I have suffered no ill effects and have no intention of repeating the experiment. It took me six years to steel myself to the task and I feel my work on that front is done. I also don't appreciate being compared to someone called Ferdinand the Bull, whom apparantly I resembled when in full flight with the gate draped around my person.

7 comments:

Ginger (Baker not Rogers) said...

Fatal Attraction
Who can imagine the ineffable urge of donkeys to stick their heads through metal gates? (If you view our profile, you will see us in action doing just that.) After Fred's last near-death experience, I asked him why. "Because I can," was all he would say.

Miraculously - like you - he seems to have suffered no ill effects. If you can discount a certain dimness, that is.

Fred and I have been cruelly confined to a bare paddock all summer as well. However, the fat lady has been bustling about erecting more electric fences so our universe may soon expand as it should. She is understandably concerned about installing yet another metal gate. Wonder why?

Mr Gale, we would like to report that the donkey dates have had no ill effects - probably because we are restricted to ONE a day. And Dougie - you should know that thistles in Canada don't usually look that blurry. Obviously the woman has lost her many pairs of glasses - again.

The fat lady and the woman are planning a get-away this weekend. Last time she left, I attacked a porcupine, much to the consternation of my young caregiver, Byron. I will have to think of something even better this time!

Dougie Donk said...

Goodness Sheaffer, that sounds terribly traumatic. I do hope your woman consoled you with loads of sweet things?

Mine has recently shared the joy of something she calls a "white chocolate chunk cookie". Most delicious & nearly up there with my new found date pleasure. I found that standing in the rain looking poorly made her most anxious about my well-being. HAHAHA - humans are so easily fooled!

Ginger - I believe a porcupine is an extremely large & rather sharper version of my local hedgehogs. Surely attacking them is rather dangerous? I'm sure your well-honed donkey brain can think of an equally exciting but rather safer pursuit - perhaps that of humans with white choclate chunk cookies?

robert5721 said...

Sheaffer,
my god, what a trauma! if you can remember, turn your head to the side to put it in, then put your head to the side to take it out, but if the gate is installed correctly, one hinge points up, and one points down, thus preventing the problem that you encountered....one hinge is on a bolt crimp, and that is the one that counts....Jack is a very smart donkey, also DOC with the "now we can get to the food" idea...
One date a day is no problem, but don't go for a whole bag....smile....
Mr Gale

robert5721 said...

Jack,
your girth definitely appears to be improving....you are an amazingly lucky donkey for sure....give your wonam a big kiss for me....smile....
Mr Gale

billie said...

Oh my gosh, Sheaffer! I'm relieved to hear that you escaped harm.

Our pony learned the trick of taking gates off hinges somewhere in his life, and when we boarded he was quite fond of sticking his head through, lifting the gate off its hinges, walking the gate carefully around, and then setting it down so he could take his head out and proceed to wreak havoc with the herd he had just released.

He tried it here and my husband ingeniously turned the hinge on one end so that he could no longer pull this rather clever escape trick.

Hopefully Rafer Johnson is not figuring out how to reverse the hinges. However I would not doubt it in the least.

I certainly hope the woman treated you with hugs, kisses, and very sweet things for the tummy. What a trauma!

ponymaid said...

ginger - what is the near-fatal attraction of gates for donkeys? I confess, I never see a gate without calculating the possibility of getting at least my head on the other side.

dougie, my woman is extremely selfish. She consoled herself with a large cup of tea - to restore her nerves she said. I"M the one who needed the tea! She merely checked me over for damage and signed deeply. No daes. No delectable people cookies.

Mr. Gale - I have told the woman about her typically faulty installation of gates. She has passed this on to the male human to remedy. Then I will be able to extricate myself at my leisure. As instructed,Jack gave her a large nuzzle on the cheek and she said thank you but then wiped it off with a tissue. Typical.

billie, my next post deals with the conniving ways of ponies. As for gates and hinges, I can assure you Rafer is studying them both intently. We donkeys do that. Then quite suddenly, maybe six years later, we spring into action. When will young Redford be joining you? He needs to begin his studies as well.

billie said...

Sheaffer, Rafer Johnson is studying everything so intently these days I am wondering when the plan for total donkey dominance is going to burst forth, fully formed. My only consolation is that he likes me (I think) so I will likely be treated fairly well in the take-over.

Redford is coming in 1 week!

I'm certain Rafer is plotting as to how he might most easily get Redford fully involved in his plotting, the most quickly.

And I suspect it won't be difficult. You donkeys tend to stick together!

:)

I wish I could have the Blogger Donkey Convention here - can you imagine? Ginger and Fred, Dougie Donk, George and Alan, you and Jack, Rafer and Redford... and for any handsome/lovely donkey I'm forgetting, my apologies. You're ALL invited.