Friday, November 30, 2007

Parade Day Minus One

The hideous weather was somewhat mitigated by my being able to supervise the decoration of my cart. The woman's friend who will be my driving partner arrived with a whole box of shiny rope-like things (they looked quite tasty) and the two of them proceeded to transform my red and green cart into a splendid looking chariot. There are more decorations for my person but those will be attached once I am wearing my black harness - I hope they don't use staples.

TJ, the delinquent mule, demonstrated his street moves today when he suddenly sprinted after a flock of crows in our paddock and came so close to catching one that feathers flew all over. The crows sat in the tree and squawked about it for ages. I've noticed that even the swaggering squirrel is lying low since TJ's arrival. He's 31inches of pure terror.

I must get my beauty rest - it wouldn't do to be seen in public with bags under my eyes. I will compose a tell-all post tomorrow evening.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

An ILL Wind

The wind today was savage - much like little TJ -hahahaha! That's the name they've settled on after reading GALE's comment. His ears are only half as impressive as mine, so the wind can't blow in there and rattle around. I spent most of the day in the run-in and he ran back and forth between Doc, who was digging grass out of the snow, and myself, offering to wrestle with us both.

The woman seems to be concerned about the level of trauma he's endured - frankly, I'm the one being traumatized by HIM. She called Kyle at the Donkey Sanctuary and discussed how to help him relax and trust people. He gave her some ideas and I certainly hope it doesn't involve me being a father figure to him. I had hoped Kyle would suggest he be taken away in a small van and locked in a home for delinquents, but NO, it involves all of us being kind and patient and understanding...I just hope I still have time for my ruminations.

My cart will be decorated tomorrow - I plan to supervise the operation closely. Numerous cameras will be taken to the parade and I hope by Saturday evening to have some images on here. If the fire trucks are too loud, they may be more in the line of "action" shots.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Creature Abides

Though I strongly encouraged the creature to crawl through the fence and make it's own way in the world, it just laughed and body checked me. He has an absolute mania for any sort of wrestling match and ambushed me when I was napping in the run-in. He said "Eeeeyaaah!" and launched himself at me, exclaiming "Ok, Grampa, lets see ya bust a move, hahahaha". I tried to pummel him but my substantial girth limits my range of moves. THEN, he began to mimic me, huffing and puffing and affecting a strange rolling walk. I gave chase but had to stop when I couldn't get air into my lungs.

Doc still thinks he's wonderful and even let him grab his hind leg above the hock and pretend to rip it off. Doc just lifted his leg clear of the ground to make it easier for him to play, and kept on eating his hay. This modern approach to child-rearing is responsible for the herds of similar delinquents out there.

The humans have decided to name him Jakob, his full name being Texas Jake because that's his place of origin. I still think Little Damien suits him to a tee. My parade is coming up on Saturday so I am trying to stay focussed on that. The audience expects a stellar performance from me and I can't arrive looking frazzled, with clumps of hair missing. My friend Alex the Elk will be there with his family - his mother is to be my partner - so I know I'll have at least a couple of hours respite from the monster child. I hope he's so jealous his hoofs turn green with envy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's STILL Here

The woman did not put the new arrival out with the recycling as I suggested. Doc is still guarding him and Molly is still making hideous faces at him and I am still keeping my distance. He told me a bit about his life and it hardly seems credible. He hates being touched by humans because he says it always hurts and he says they can't be trusted, ever, so it's best to keep a good distance. I told him about the woman, that she's quite bossy but does watch over us very carefully. We love being brushed, going in the trailer and having visitors. He was shocked. We always have thick, clean beds and lots of food. He says he'll watch and see for himself if this is possible.

We had horrible, sticky snow all night and the footing is soggy and muddy underneath. The new arrival doesn't care, which I find odd because his feet are even smaller than mine. I stood in the run-in today, glaring at the snow and willing it to melt. No luck so far.

When we came into the barn the woman spent a lot of time just standing to one side and talking to the new arrival. He listened carefully and got a little closer but still says she's one of "them". GALE advises that I reserve judgement on this new equine personage, so I will pursue that course of action for now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's Here

First of all, I want to stress that if my faithful reader GALE were running the world, she would bring order out of chaos and would never allow an alien creature, the likes of which appeared in our paddock today, anywhere near civilized equines. But of course she doesn't and the mad woman who runs this place appeared with said creature and told us to make it welcome.

It's a strange, 31inch tall thing called a mule and it has a voice that sounds like it's been gargling with gravel since birth. Only two years old, and has a vocabulary that would make a guttersnipe blush. It addressed me as "Yo, Grampa". Then it asked me if I wanted to rassle. Good God. Doc is absolutely smitten with the thing and acts as though he's just given birth. Molly mare hates it because she only arrived in June and feels it's a threat to the social order. I feel it's a threat to the entire civilized world. She and I stood under the trees and glared daggers at it while Doc simpered around. The dog made an effort to chase it but hastily exited at high speed with the mini demon hot on her heels.

Tonight the woman has made a bed for it in the aisle so it can settle in and none of us will hurt it. Pahhh! The thing could take on a street gang and come out with not a hair ruffled. She spent a long time talking to all of us and explaining it's life story. It came here from Texas in the summer and has had five homes in the last few months . It was on it's way to a meat auction so of course she felt it should come here...It has not been christened yet but I suggested Little Damien. It's terrified of people and the woman spent ages getting it calm enough that she could take it's halter off. Maybe she'll come to her senses and stick it out at the curb with the blue boxes. She says I'm jealous but in fact I'm just being the voice of reason.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

She's Back...

Last Wednesday the woman went on at great length, explaining how she and the male human were going away to eat yet more turkey, this time in a whole other country. These people are positive gluttons - they've eaten all the turkey and pie in this country and have now moved their operations to another nation.

We had a peaceful interlude with our friend Jamie taking care of our needs and generally fulfilling our every wish. No snarky comments about body shape or allusions to sneaky behaviour. Well, tonight the woman is back. I cut her dead when she came to the paddock to put us in for the night. Does her good and lets her know we can't be taken for granted. She did give us all sorts of treats and much patting so when she came out to give us our night hay I told her she could rub my ears and elaborate on how glad she was to see me.

Rather disturbingly, she told us we will have a new herd member tomorrow. It's something called a "mule" which is apparantly at least half proper equine, the other half being miniature horse. It's in dire straits and she feels compelled to help it, which of course infringes on my space since it will share my room. I plan to be very strict with it. I look forward to it's arrival with suspicion and apprehension. I will keep my readers informed of it's every move...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's always MY fault...

Imagine my delight when the woman tied a huge haynet to a beam in our run-in this morning. The only flaw was that it was too high for me to reach. That's when she explained that she had actually done it on purpose so I could only have access to the bits that fell on the ground. She said that, furthermore, it was part of an ongoing scheme to control my weight! The unmitigated gall of the woman.

I pondered deeply for a while and realized that the haynet is made of some sort of cotton rope, which lends itself to easy chewing. I applied myself to the task and in no time had a gaping hole in the bottom of the evil thing and a huge cascade of hay engulfed my head. My victory was shortlived. In came the woman and called me a calculating saboteur and said I looked like I was wearing a very bad wig. Never a moment's peace around here - you think she would have congratulated me on my ingenuity.

While she was trying to knot the haynet back together she brought up numerous other instances where my creativity has been met with her disapproval. The wheelbarrow handles that I chewed down to toothpicks, the bridle that I remodelled, the doortrim that I removed - blahblahblah. She even bought a "Best Friends" anti-grazing muzzle that she uses occasionally. It's a hideous basket-like contraption that keeps me from enjoying the best of the spring grass - and any other tasty morsels (like leather tack).

I'm in negotiations with Cruiser to move to her house- I'll do a bit of light housework in exchange for a life free from nagging and recriminations. I'll update as plans evolve.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Best Friend - Hah!

I was standing in the run-in door today, thinking deeply, though I'm told there was the odd snore emanating from self (how they all lie). There was a terrible rustling and rattling behind me and without a moment's hesitation, I leapt a good eight feet in the air and did a standing broad jump of approx. thirty feet. I hit the ground running but the terrible "thing" kept close on my heels. When I was on the verge of expiring, I managed to turn slightly and saw the "thing" was Doc with a shavings bag in his mouth.

Now, Doc knows I have a particular fear and loathing of these things and he finds it incredibly amusing to torment me with them. I've told him repeatedly that these bag things can cover your head and suffocate you or become entangled in your legs and devour you alive. He's just too thick to process the concept. It says right on each and every one of the bag-monsters that human children are prone to put them over their heads and expire. Maybe one day Doc will put the warning to the test - and I won't be the one to pull it off his thick-as-cement-head...

He claims he's "bombproofing" me for the parade. I sincerely hope there aren't any bag-monsters lurking in the crowd. I'm prepared for the eventuality and will exit the parade route at high speed if need be. I'm sorry to say the woman finds Doc's sense of humour most entertaining and the idiot laughed so hard she had to sit down in the middle of the paddock. Fortunately, it's quite muddy right now, so I had the last laugh after all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

My First Parade

The woman tells me that my services are required at something called the "Santa Claus Parade" in two weeks time. I am to pull a friend of hers in my red and green two-wheeled cart. I would prefer to ride IN the cart, but am never given a say in this. I quite like meeting the public and just hope the human offspring are well behaved. There have been mumblings about decorating my person in various bows, scarfs, antlers etc. - we'll see about that...I am a low-key individual who prefers to wear muted greys accented with black.

Weather permitting, I may practice my driving skills this weekend. I pride myself on the smoothness and accuracy of my moves in harness. I can complete a course comprised of pairs of cones without touching one - unless the human driver interferes. I was once entered in a driving competition but the other competitors, all horses, withdrew at the last minute. It was suggested that they couldn't stand the thought of losing to a donkey. They were obviously quaking in their horse shoes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Donkey "ownership"

Although I was brought to live with these people at the age of six months, I have never felt myself to be a piece of property owned by them. Quite the opposite. I have agreed to stay with them because they are simply too idiotic to be left to their own devices. When I hear someone refer to donkey "ownership", I simply roll my eyes heavenwards and say a silent "tsk,tsk".

A friend recently sent me this news clipping which perfectly illustrates my point.

ABU DHABI - A donkey at an Algerian market ate the money of a man who came to buy him. Now the would-be buyer and the would-be seller wonder whom the animal belongs to, reported Al Shuruk al Yawmi, a newspaper published in the Algerian town of Tizi Ouzou. It said the vendor and purchaser were haggling over the price and failed to notice the donkey consuming the stack of banknotes meant as payment for him. The case has been referred to the Algerian Supreme Court.

The donkey had no other choice. He ate the banknotes to express his displeasure at the entire concept of someone "owning" a being who is in every way their superior. Also, banknotes make a nice, dry snack.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Immortalized in Watercolour

The woman human has been very busy entertaining other humans during something called "The Royal". They all get very excited and disappear for hours and return babbling about their "purchases" and different entertainments put on by horses. Finally, things seem back to what passes for normal around here.

The woman has been speaking of having my portrait done but I feared it was all empty words - much like the "treat" that turned out to be wormer followed by a microscopic cocktail carrot. However, she returned on Saturday with a black and white portrait of self that I feel captures my complex personality and rugged good looks. I had envisioned something in oil, measuring about 4ft. by by 6ft. that would hang in the National Gallery but am very pleased to be immortalized on paper. The artist is a talented young woman called Elise Genest and I am honoured to be her first donkey subject.

I assume they will hang my portrait on the back wall of my room, where I can gaze on it as I recline and contemplate my next diary entry. Given a choice, I would remain in my room until next May, but the woman is a fresh air fanatic and bustles us out the door at the crack of dawn. Insanity, of course, but I try to bear up under the strain.

My artist friend can be reached at Elise Genest 418-878-5006 or 418-204-4946. Her web site is and e-mail is elisegenest@hotmail.c0m I highly recommend her.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Good Friend Smokey

It was so good to hear from my old friend Smokey in the comments section of my last post. How I miss the big gallumph! I'm not surprised he needed a chiropractor. He doesn't ever worry about bodily harm, which makes him a very relaxed individual but which sometimes leads to - ahem - mishaps.

In the week he stayed with us he accumulated an impressive number of scars. He was rushing to the barn for his grain feed (approx. four oats - he's an easy keeper), when he stubbed his toe on the hill going down to the barn. He rolled over and over like a huge rubber ball and crashed into the side of the barn with the most amazing sound effects. The woman went a very pale shade of greenish-white, but up he sprang, shaking off the dirt, and continued into the barn for his feed. Then he got the bucket stuck on his foot when he exited his stall and the woman had to pry it off. Then there was the unfortunate incident of my tooth marks somehow ending up on his jugular...but I, ahhh, forget the details of that one.

The day before he was to go home, Doc chased him right through our rail fence. Smokey said he was just fine but the woman called the vet because he had a gash on his shoulder. I supervised the whole suturing procedure and can tell you that it doesn't take much sedative to turn Smokey into a stumbling, pie-eyed drunk. Highly amusing from my side of the stall guard. The woman and the vet had to nearly carry him back to his stall, where he slept it off, snoring contentedly.

He's had numerous other adventures but probably the best was when he fell flat on his face while he was strolling in the forest. His human was projected into a healthy patch of poison ivy and apparantly Smokey stayed on his knees for awhile to take in the spectacle. The human was very itchy for a long time after but fortunately Smokey emerged unscathed with not an itch of his own to scratch.

I'll update my readers as the further adventures of Smokey unfold. He actually fell off his trailer the last time he visited so I know he remains in a a state of permanent non-stress.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Explorer Donkey

Last Sunday the human woman had a visitor. They appeared in my paddock, notepad in hand and the dog on her leash. They put on my travelling halter and we set off -I'm very keen on travel adventures. There was the usual sarcasm "Sheaffer, if you walk any slower you'll grow moss" sort of thing. I prefer to keep my steps slow and measured; I enjoy nature's buffet and sampling cannot be done at high speed.

We walked for awhile and came to the small green wooden bridge. I know perfectly well how to walk over it but prefer to push my toes against the edge, focus intently, and suddenly leap upwards, becoming airborne, then landing nimbly on the other side. The visitor exclaimed on the extraordinary view of my substantial abdominal area as I achieved mid-leap. They said I cast a shadow as large as the GoodYear blimp. I'm not sure what that is but I felt quite flattered.

Turned out our destination was the Pioneer Cemetery on our property. The humans were very keen on recording the information on some stone slabs for "posterity". The dog fussed and fidgeted but I took the opportunity to graze respectfully off to one side. We did get some rather overt stares from passing motorists but of course my appearance always draws attention.

On the way home, I stumbled slightly going down the steep hill (I was sampling some plant life) but fortunately the woman broke my potential fall. She was rather grumpy afterwards and made me walk beside her.

I have hopes of being included in future historical outings, though I sometimes find it embarrassing to be seen in the company of the woman. Her manners are shocking and her appearance disheveled but I try to take the high road and pretend not to notice.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Private Property?

It all started when Doc and I found a coat on the fence this morning. We were checking the pockets for ID - all we found were gum wrappers and scrunched up kleenex -that should have been enough to identify it as the woman's. Of course, she misinterpreted our actions and snatched it away while glaring at us suspiciously.

The suspicion stems from an incident a few weeks ago. She and Molly mare had returned from a trail ride and left their sweaty saddle pad to dry on the grass. I studied it for quite some time and then calculated that by stretching my neck to it's maximum while standing on my toes, I could get a tooth-hold and drag it into the paddock. It has pockets on the sides and they had an intriguing oaty smell - buried under the sweaty horse smell, but discernible to my surperior olfactory senses. There were human snacks in bar form in there and by inserting my finely chiseled muzzle between the buckles, I was able to unwrap and sample them. Doc stood on one end of the pad and I on the other and he cleaned up all the bits that were spread around.

Out came the woman and as she got closer she began to run and shriek at us. We swallowed as fast as we could and when she got close, Doc grabbed the pad and ran away! Heh, heh. He and the woman circled the barn a few times but when it blew over his eyes he panicked and dropped it. A huge lecture on private property ensued (once she had caught her breath). My argument is that if you stumble across something it immediately becomes yours. Of course you-know-who doesn't agree. And on it goes...