You may remember the tale of the poor, frightened jenny who was sent aloft by idiots in Russia last year. It seems she had some peace in her final months, especially once they figured out she needed donkey company to be truly happy. She may be gone but we will not forget her - or the cretins who perpetrated the cruel and unpunished "prank". From the St Petersburg Times
To balance this news, I have a story told to me by Sheila, which perfectly illustrates the inate sensible and intelligent nature of donkeys. It seems that in Switzerland there are (or were) donkeys who worked on the farms high up in the Alps. On Saturday, market day, they were loaded with all sorts of produce, cheeses etc. and sent on their own, down to the market square. They went to the same spot every week and shoppers would choose items to buy, putting the money in a container carried by the donkey.
When all was sold, the donkeys made their way back home, delivering the money to their humans, who trusted them to do the same highly competent job every week. Now this, to my mind, is an eminently sensible arrangement. Humans who treat their donkeys as trusted equals and family members and donkeys who play a pivotal role in running the farm finances. How civilized and how unusual.