Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Is The Purpose of Donkeys?

I can't tell you how often visitors have asked the woman just that. Not the donkeyphiles, of course, but the ones who are seeing a living, breathing donkey for the first time. They are invariably the ones who also get far too close and say "Hey, Donkehhhh, Donkehhh, Donkehhh!" or ask where our friend Winnie the Poop is hiding. Inexplicably rude, not to mention highly perplexing.

The woman explains that Jack worked hard for twenty-seven years, giving rides, attending parties and parades and putting up with things no donkey should endure. I myself haul the woman around in the cart and do my best to attend social events as donkey representative at large. And still they ask, "why would you own a donkey, what use are they?" I wonder, does anyone ask them to justify their mere existence?

After one such incident, the woman took me aside and said "Sheaffer, I think I have found a perfect quote to stifle those peabrains." I'll give her this - she may critcize us freely and in colourful language but heaven help anyone else who does. She found it in a book called "O Come Ye Back to Ireland" by Niall Williams and Christine Breen. Here it is:

"What is our business here, and in the words of Thomas Merton, 'our business is life itself". Someone, as Thoreau said, must be Inspector of Snowstorms, Inspector of Sunsets...together we are Inspectors of Wildflowers, Secretaries of Sunshine, Surveyors of Meadows, Auditors of Birdsong, Clerks of Clouds, VicePresidents of Hilltops and Valleys, Bogs, Trees and everything." I have read this over several times and Jack and I will both add it to our resumes.


Ben said...

Um....I believe that a section of that quote was omitted. I seem to remember something about being a Stalwart Sampler of Stud Muffins as well. I am sure that the Woman will be happy be informed about this.

completecare said...

Hi Sheaffer,

That quote is lovely and so true.

I am going to have my human make a copy of it and post it on our barn bulletin board for everyone to see.

Your Fan,


billie said...

The Woman is Brilliant!

That's the perfect quote. The very idea that anyone would question the purpose of donkeys!

Once owned by a donkey, the world is never the same again.

A long time ago, the woman who cut my hair bought a small farm and they agreed to let the miniature donkeys who lived there stay. She told me that she would go out at night and sit with the donkeys, and they would come up and put their heads gently on her shoulders and all her troubles disappeared.

I admit, I thought she had happened onto a herd of very unusual donkeys - but now I know that is the norm.

BumbleVee said...

seeing and hearing the ignorance of so many people ...I have to say it's much easier to see the purpose of donkeys... and cats,...and dogs...and hamsters.... and.......

ponymaid said...

Ben, thank heavens for your eagle donkey eye! Of course that must be added to the top of the list - who else could sample stud muffins in as stalwart a fashion as donkeys? The woman looked absolutely thrilled when I informed her of this ommission.

Willy, excellent idea - always good to have a job description posted in case some cretin comes by who questions the meaning of your mere existence. You can simply point an ear in the direction of the bulletin board and walk off in an offended manner.

Billie, your hair grooming woman is wise indeed. I find if I lean my head on the woman's shoulder it has the dual effect of providing an excellent head-rest and also of taking her mind off, for example, a mysteriously shortened corn broom. I know Team R&R are your own personal duo of observers of every detail of every day at November Hill.

BumbleVee, there would seem to be two types of humans - those who recognize others species as fellow travellers on the planet and those who view other species as some sort of strange objects unrelated to themselves. The latter humans are sadly diminished beings. And wouldn't know a stud muffin if they fell over it.

Buddy said...

Hay Sheaffer - I think that good frens to other equines should be added to that quote.

Mom thinks she should also add that Donkeys are cute, have great ears, and are big fans of Eddie Murphy.

Your fren,

ponymaid said...

Buddy, quite right. I have met very few horses that I didn't like immediately - those two terrible Vegas Show Girl mares who were sent to graze down our front pasture a few years ago. When one of their hind dinner plates nearly scalped me (after they broke through the fence)they were sent packing. But I digress - donkeys are generally very friendly beings, given half a chance. I'm pleased to know your mother is a donkeyphile in good standing.

Dougie Donk said...

The purpose of donkeys? What a dumb question - it's to love & be loved.

robert5721 said...

the purpose of Donkeys is to move inside of the spirit that moves in us all to give that spirit balance, much as your quote hints at methinks. I am getting bertter slowly, my Vet says that the hole will be closed up in a monyh or so, and I can go back to life as I knew it, thank God !! DO NOT FORGET TO ADD THE STUD MUFFIN LINE, it adds to the balance that you provide.
Mr Gale

ponymaid said...

Dougie, humans are a strange species. They spend all their life pondering the meaning of existence and then have the nerve to ask us what we're doing here! WE know what our purpose is - they're the ones with the problem.

Mr. Gale, Jack says you're spending far too much time at the vet's and that's not good for anyone's health. That's a nasty thing to have happen to a leg and we wish you a speedy recovery, just in time for spring. I advise a diet heavy in stud muffins to speed the healing. We hope to hear that you're trotting sound very soon.