The party plans are gathering momentum and the woman's hair is defying gravity even more than usual. It doesn't help that to stimulate thought when confused she pushes her matted locks skywards with both grubby paws. She looks permanently startled these days, much like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. "Do we have enough tables?" she asks, "how many cups of coffee do we need? What if it rains?" Good grief, I can't be expected to know the answers to complicated questions like that.
And now we're on to "What should Sheaffer wear?" This is not something I wish to hear when I'm working on prying a dandelion out from under a stone. I have a blue ribbon that blares "Birthday Boy" in gold letters. Embarrassing but at least I can pretend it's the Legion of Honour or something acceptable. Then she appeared with the most hideous collection of tacky, garishly coloured garlands I have ever seen. They have a faintly Hawaiian overtone but are so gaudy and frankly sinister looking that I might as well wear a shirt with little palm trees and surf boards all over it. She draped these atrocities around my neck and stood back to admire her handiwork. "Yes", she said, "just the thing. You look every bit the birthday donkey." I do not. I look like an idiot.
I had the presence of mind to draw my lower jaw back against my neck, thus placing the loathesome objects in my mouth like a bit. I sawed away on them until she happened to glance over. They were removed post haste but I did manage to tone them down a bit by salivating heavily. I can't even imagine what her next brain wave will involve. White patent leather shoes, no doubt.
In the next few days I will tell you more about the silent auction and the mysterious and wonderful things that are arriving. Cheques are arriving as well so Sheila should have more funding for her rescue donkeys very soon. The PrimRose sanctuary is full to the brim so in addition to raising funds and the sanctuary profile, this event will also tell more people about the specific donkeys who are well enough to go to new homes . I will tell you what we manage to find out- though the woman won't tell us all the details for fear of upsetting us. She says I have led a very sheltered life, but I would contest that hotly. Jack knows plenty of things but refers to his life before he went to Sheila's as "that dark time" and doesn't like to talk about it. And sadly, there are stories much worse than his.