Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to All!

My dear friends of all species, we wish you the very best of everything on this cold winter's day. May your feed bowls brim with stud muffins and horse cookies and everything else that is bad for the waistline and good for the morale.

Herself has NOT yet baked us those wonderful cookies for which Billie has sent the recipe. We did have a lovely hot dinner with carrots, apples, mints and stud muffins. The portions were rather Scrooge-ish, but nevermind. With a howling wind blowing sideways into our ears and under our tails, we were very glad to get into our rooms.

Sally has received a bizarre toy on springs that attaches to the wall with small suction cups. It has feathered spheres on which she practices her torture techniques by the hour. So far she has not extracted any information from it. She and Violet both received bags of cat treats that strike me as rather revolting but then again I'm strictly vegetarian and something called "Mighty Meaty Kitty Bitties" do not strike a culinary chord with me.

She's rushing off again on turkey duty and has told me to keep it short- tchhhah.

Please let me know how you spent your day and what you received from the man in red. I hope it was delicious.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Festive Season Closes In

I've been extremely busy with various things - organizing protests against the despicable hay racks, scanning the horizon for predators and of course supervising mail delivery in case there is something for me that Herself commandeers. Christmas has used the opportunity to sneak up and ambush me while I was looking the other way.

I realized this morning how close we are to the actual event when Herself sidled up to me with some garish, shiny objects and tried to drape them on my person. I let out a mighty trumpet and bolted. She's not getting near me with that revolting frippery this year. I endured pseudo antlers last year and have put my hoof down firmly when it comes to further personal decoration. Jack didn't twitch an ear or bat an eye when she installed it around his neck and thus he became this year's purveyor of Christmas greetings. He balked at raising his nose out of his morning hay but happily stood draped in the tacky festive trappings. "long as i don got to stop eatin, she kin hang prit near anythin on me. needles is a diffren story. none a them and none a that worm poison they trie ta choke me with."

He's feeling a tad huffy on the vermifuge front. Testing revealed he (and thus we) needed vermifuge for a specific parasite and the Tall Woman was pressed into service to administer Jack's dosage. They had a tremendous "rasslin" match and he did manage to cause her head to connect with the corner of a light box, making a dent (in her head - the light box is fine) and even drawing blood but she got the stuff into him eventually. Then she made him stand quietly without trying to head-butt her, so he's still rather resentful. But I digress.

The woman put the festive nonsense on Doc and asked Molly if she wanted a turn but Molly turned her down flat. Sally posed on the fence with the the sleazy baubles and then gave them a thorough thrashing. No wonder I'm so fond of cats. They know bad taste when they see it and act accordingly.

Here are some photos of the festive nonsense. Penny opened one of her gifts early - I'm not sure what it is but it's of purplish hue and has various appendages. She loves it and I've included some action shots of her. Violet is working on stripping the tree they put in the house and is de-peopleing the manger scene, replacing figures with her felt mice. Unfortunately there is no photographic evidence - yet.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Latest Outrage Chez Nous

After a three day winter gale last week left us nearly expired from exposure (even in the run-in), the weather has turned somewhat milder. Unfortunately, that three days was crucial to our comfort in more than one way.

When the weather outside is frightful, Herself takes a small degree of pity on us and puts our hay in three piles on the mats in the run-in. What happens then is that Doc decides Molly's pile is somehow superior and chases her away, she chases Jack and self away from our pile and we move on to Doc's, whereupon the whole process begins anew. This causes the hay to be lavishly strewn throughout the entire run-in. Once this happens, we four equids find it quite unpalatable - what with the foot odour, mud particles and other debris now mixed in with our meal. We then begin a chorus at the barn door which goes something like, "Woman, we need more food, this tastes funny, fresh hay please, we need it right now, did we mention this tastes funny etc.".

The outcome was inevitable, I suppose... One day she glared at us and said, "I know how to stop this nonsense." Oh? Starvation is now nonsense? Anyway, back she came with the male human, each of them carting these strange black metal barred affairs. They proceeded, with our close supervision, to fasten these things to the walls of the run-in. The contraptions looked quite artistic and we admired them in detail. Then...oh moment of horror. Cackling in a crazed fashion, Herself began inserting our hay in there. Yes! These odious objects are hay dispensers!

We hate the blasted things. In fact, we boycotted them until we were faint from hunger - at least fifteen minutes, if not longer. We stamped and called to her but her heart remained stony cold. Doc then tried to wrench the things from the walls but to no avail.

So dear readers, that is the sorry state of affairs at our place. We are forced to pull one meagre mouthful of hay at a time from between the prison bars. Can you believe it? At this time of celebration and festive feasting, we are relegated to working like slaves for our pittance. She bought us one of those huge striped peppermint canes as a peace offering and smashed it up, mixing it into our hot meal. Tasty, but not enough to make amends for putting our hay in wall prisons.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Most Peculiar Gift - I Think I May Actually Like It

Imagine my surprise when I checked my correspondence and found a gift from Bouncy Dog -he made it himself and I thought my friends might enjoy viewing it. I hardly know what to think; it is the height of frivolity but it does show me in a rather attractive slim and trim mode. The name Fred Astaire has even cropped up.

Jack loves it and says he has attended many of these events in his youth. Molly likes anything that features her hairy visage and Doc says it's just missing a bar. How TJ got in there, I do not know. He certainly wasn't invited but that's never stopped him before.

Here it is:

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Festive Update Times Two

Last week the woman strong armed Violet into the portable cat prison and hauled her off to the vet, howling and screaming, for her annual stabbing with needles. They both returned looking hot and flustered; Violet has been shunning Herself ever since. Can't say I blame her.

While they were there the woman received an update on the two tiny kittens who were thrown into the ditch at the end of our drive a year ago. Some of you may remember that it took much searching in a blizzard but the brothers were found, starving, flea-ridden and terrified. The magnificent Alison, who works at the vet clinic, found them homes with a couple of humans who had just lost their ancient and beloved cat brothers.

Well, a year later the young brothers are running (ruling actually) the household with an iron paw. They have grown into magnificent feline specimens and lead a life of luxury and leisure. They remain devoted to each other and are never to be found far apart. They were a whisker away from dying of exposure in a dark and hostile environment because a human decided they were worthless and tossed them out of a moving vehicle. Thanks to the powers that run the universe, there are other humans like Alison.

Alison has sent me some photos of the boys at home. I thought it would be a fitting start to the festive season to share them with you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

She Returns - Followed by Bad Weather

To be expected, I suppose. We had a nice little holiday, catered to by the genial Jamie human who tends to be quite free with the foodstuffs, despite her written instructions. No glares, no huffing, no orders barked into our quivering ears. Just peace and quiet and naps in sunny spots while warming up for the next meal.

As usual, on her return she rushed over to our paddock bellowing, "Did you miss me?" at 87 decibels. We three boys simply stared in horrified amazement but Molly let out a chorus of gutteral sounds that was intended to be a warm greeting. Molly always hedges her bets. After Herself had tucked us in our rooms she cornered me and made a series of hideous kissing noises on my face. Unsanitary and uncalled for. Jack dribbled gruel on her shoes and Doc merely increased his output of flatulence to such a level that she gagged and retreated with her hands over her face.

She says she had a lovely time visiting with CindyLouWho, Finn Pony and their woman. I'm sure she did and they're so polite they said they had an equally lovely time. She says CindyLou is even more magnificent in person - a skyscraper of a horse with all the bearing of the aged Queen Victoria. Finn Pony is only five, the very picture of a perfect pony, and someone with whom Doc would very much enjoy "rasslin". CindyLou does not approve of rasslin, much to the pony's dissapointment. Both equines are travelling to Florida for the winter so Finn can pursue his driving career, while CindyLou coaches him. I assume Formula One, but Jack says probably something called Nascar.

I have included some photos of the driving duo for my readers enjoyment.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving South of the Border!

I am without the benefit of a typist as Herself has intruded upon the most celebrated day in the USA. Typical. I very much doubt she was invited. She even showed up at Cindy Lou Who's place, complete with camera.

This is most inconvenient from my perspective but on the other hand, it provides a mental health break away from her awfulness.

To my many friends of the American persuasion, I extend the heartiest of Thanksgiving greetings and beg your forgiveness for the presence in your nation of one of our worst national scourges.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just a Few Things to Note...

The theme around the barn this week has been hairstyles. For reasons I cannot fully explain, we have all suddenly taken a keen interest in modifying our appearances. With no opposable thumbs and no access to the better type of hair styling product, we have had to make do with nature's offerings.

Doc started us off by sticking his head in a burr bush and rotating it in a brisk circular motion. His forelock stood up in a conical fashion, the burrs worked in so thoroughly and tightly that the corners of his eyes were pulled up. Then, he worked some more burrs into his mane so that it stood up in points. Satisfied with his handiwork, he showed the results to us and then went off to impress the woman. She sighed and looked heavenward and then fetched the mane comb and spray bottle of hair detangler. Just as well, since Doc's scalp was beginning to itch fiercely and he was developing a migraine headache.

"La Molly" went next and focused on a leaf and twig bound together by mud theme. She felt she looked like a super model but in fact she strongly resembled a compost heap in both appearance and odour. The only one who dared voice that opinion was the woman who used every tool in the grooming box to get the worst of it off.

Jack went for an damp manure/ sand theme and emerged from a vigourous roll with the aura of a mud wrestler gone mad. He smelled even worse than Molly and had to dry out before the woman would approach close enough to begin the removal process. He was incensed that she misunderstood his hard work and said "huh, she don't even kno this heres a ancient health and beyooty treamint." He vows to repeat his "treatment" as soon as the elements allow.

As for myself, my new hairstyle was somewhat inadvertent. I was eating my hay as Jack worked on his gruel and somehow his bucket holder slid over against the partition. I thought I felt something soggy and warm landing on my person but only later realized it was patches of gruel. Jack offered to clean it off, though I fear his motive was fueled more by not wanting to waste any dinner rather than a desire for cleanliness. His cleanup consisted of washing it backwards against the lie of my coat, so that when the woman returned later, my hair was standing on end, held in place by a hard paste of saliva and gruel. Out came the grooming box...

Sally's new look is a secret to the woman but not to us. One of us is washing her from head to foot during the night, leaving her fur so fluffed up that she looks like a feline puffball. Sally is always back in her bed and the four of us standing innocently at the back of our rooms when the woman arrives, so the mystery continues to baffle her. She doesn't need to know everything.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It was absolutely harrowing. It has taken me nearly a week to work up the courage to even speak of it. I'm surprised it didn't turn me into an albino donkey overnight.

To set the stage, it was an evening like most others. Herself clanged and clattered around in the tack room, preparing our evening meal, Sally played sabre tooth tiger in the hay pile in the aisle and Penny scouted around for edibles (ie: virtually anything). Herself opened the door and the other three marched into their rooms and began swilling away at the trough. I prefer to take my time and usually stand outside until the spirit moves me, at which point I slowly make my way inside. This particular evening was no exception and I stood pondering the more complicated points of the universe.

I had just stepped into the run-in when the most alarming series of events began to unfold. It was by now pitch black outside and the first thing I saw was a pinpoint of light up high in our hay storage. There were some rustling sounds and suddenly an avalanche of bales crashed into the metal gates. From under the bales came a series of hideous grunts and gutteral noises. The light, which was obviously the eye of a savage predator, now rose from the hay pile - and it was attached to a hulking, growling form! Yes, a bear, and probably a grizzly from the sounds of it.

I wasted no time in following that succinct Shakespearean stage direction "Exit, stage left, pursued by bear". The beast did indeed pursue me and then began calling my name. I broke a land speed record in retreating to the far reaches of the paddock. It gradually occurred to my adrenalin primed brain that I am not on a first name basis with any bears; the voice revealed itself as...yes, you know who.

The beam of light sought me out and Herself, wearing almost an entire bale of hay about her person, limped over to apologize and console me. I refused to be consoled and rejected the apology. I galloped to the other end of the paddock in a state of highest dudgeon. I simply could not believe that even SHE could create such havoc through sheer clumsiness. I stayed out in the dark, brooding. And what were my herd mates doing meanwhile? Why, carrying on as if I hadn't been a victim of a savage bear attack! Yes, yes, I know, it wasn't an actual bear. But it could have been.

I finally consented to be bribed inside with a gummi worm and bit of apple. Jack was highly delighted with the entire drama. "playin davy crocket, were ya? king of the wild frontier? sonny, ya caint skin a bear if yer runnin the other way". And then he wheezed and shook till his eyes watered. Old people can be amused by the most inappropriate things.

Friday, November 6, 2009

About That Calendar...

Those of you who would like to be in my calendar, please send photos with as many pixies (she can't possibly mean pixels?) as possible to my email address;

Fred and Ginger are supervising the assembly of said calendar and we will try to include as many faithful readers as possible. All proceeds to go to PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Word from Jack

sonny has took to his room til spring he sez becuz today some a thet sideways snow pellet bead stuff come up on us by surprize. he took it real bad and aint hardly sayin nothin which is rite pekuliar fer him cauze he usualy caint shut up. jack he sez to me, i'm near ta givin up and the worse is yet ta come. truss him ta look on the brite side. hes still eatin good tho.

myself, i growed a big fur coat and packed on the paddin and i say bring 'er on. i been runnin sonny aroun the place befor dinner every nite ta git us in shape and also juss cuz i feel like runnin. when i git him goin good i start a yellin and hollerin at the top of my lung and it makes him start too and then that woman come a rushin out and ast what in tarnation has come over us. sonny is blowin like a expres train but i'm breathin so easy i wouldin blow out a candle. then we go inside and i git my three course blue plate speshul. i say life ain't bad atall atall. sonny never had ta live where and how i done. he thinks hes livin the hard life but he dont know nothin. all that brain work makes him what ya call oversensatuve.

herself jus come bak with a load a beddin so i gotta go help her. shes loss without me. i know that fer sure cuz jest this mornin i open the door and come in the barn when she was cleanin jest so i could use sonnys room fer whadda ya call "personal relief" and she sez jack what would i do without ya helpin me. its nice ta be interspensible.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On The Brighter Side...

Any day at the end of October that dawns so warm that it produces a heat haze can be nothing but good. The heat was accompanied by those miniscule flies that climb in our ears but it was a small price to pay.

The upward trend began on the weekend when Penny rolled in something so utterly disgusting that it caused the woman to make retching noises as soon as she got a whiff. In keeping with what Jack call the "hollow ian" season, it seems to have been some sort of putrefying, ghastly mass - black, sticky and almost impossible to remove. Three baths later Penny is only somewhat improved and is still looking quite smug. As one of Kipling's canine narrators said "I found a badness in the road. I rolled in it. I smelled good." Jack was so inspired that he found something nearly as revolting and worked it into his mane, causing it to stand up in spikes. He calls it his "hollow ian" costume. The woman, who is particularly sensitive to offensive odours, is beside herself. Tsk tsk.

Today the woman made her way down to the stinging wire fence and, wearing a pair of garish gardening gloves, began to wind it round and round a piece of firewood in preparation for winter storage. Good riddance to the monstrosity, I say. She then pulled out the metal sticks on which it is strung and stored them away, too. While she was in the process of wire rolling, she made her way into a corner we use as a "rest station" and which consequently makes for hazardous navigation. A serendipitous chain of events then unfolded as Penny flushed a rabbit out just a couple of yards away from the woman's feet. The rabbit exploded into the air and nearly flattened the woman, Penny in such hot pursuit that she was later discovered to have some rabbit tail fur in her teeth. The effect of the sudden burst of excitement caused the woman to simultaneously yelp, stumble sideways and sit down abruptly in a patch of unpleasantness. The irony was not lost on Penny who returned, fur in teeth, and grinned down at the now odoriferous woman.

Finally, Sally has had a slight head cold for the last few days but is beginning to feel better. The woman has installed the heated pad in her bed and has been bringing her bowls of chicken broth. Sally, who was a feral cat until last January, thinks this is a good thing indeed. Today she felt well enough to run along the top of the fence as Penny ran beside, swatting at Penny's tail and pretending to be a fierce predator. Then the fierce predator suddenly felt tired and went back to her toasty bed. I'm very fond of that cat and was glad to see her feeling her usual playful self.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Electronic Quill Quits, Colics, Dies

And that is why the quill and quire are mightier than the modern method. The night before last I was preparing to dictate a missive to the woman (not pontificate, as she will have it) and the damnable machine just shut itself off and refused to waken. Some sort of torsion or colic-related ailment is my guess. Even the experts could not get it to respond. So, we have a new writing machine which Herself is trying to cajole into working mode. Even on one of her brighter days she can barely operate one of those Bic pens so please bear with me.

I have a request for my dear readers. She has, not surprisingly, lost my electronic mail account and cannot remember my exact address. She knows it starts with Sheaffer (what a brilliant feat of deduction) but can't quite remember the rest. Could one of you who has corresponded with me through that method please remind her of the address. I know - I'm embarrassed for her too. Not surprised, just embarrassed. Of course, this is someone who treks out to the barn for some reason known only to herself and then stands there massaging her forehead and saying "Sheaffer, why did I come out here?" As if I can read what passes for her mind!

None of us equines is having memory difficulties. Every morning we remember the newly opened grazing area and gallop off in the fall fog to begin our daily feast. Unfortunately, the grass knows winter is creeping up on us and has gone into hibernation. We will indulge ourselves until the last blade is gone and then have to make do with the pittance she allows us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

She Opens The Gate To Paradise

These mostly windy, rainy cold days of autumn take it's toll on a donkey's psyche. Jack says he feels just fine and advised me to stop "broodin and frettin". His theory is that for him the bucket is always half full and for me it's always half empty with a hole in the bottom. I told him that his unbridled optimism makes me worry even more because I know fate is lurking around the corner.

His tenet of unbridled optimism was proved at least temporarily sound two days ago when the woman strode down to the stinging wire and let us into the lush swaths of grass in the front paddock for the first time in months. She told us that's where she was headed and so we followed closely, Doc walking importantly at her side with her hand draped over his neck. When we got there she wrestled with one of the metal sticks that hold the wire. Meanwhile Doc and Molly began to gyrate on the spot, urging her to hurry up. When she finally got the dreaded wire down, Doc was so excited he jumped over it, clearing it by a good five feet. Molly followed closely but merely hopped over it. Jack and I stayed behind and waited until the wire was safely out of the way. Then we made our way carefully into the ankle deep carpet of plush green. We've only come up for air a couple of times since. Unfortunately, the grass does not renew itself after the first few frosts so we know the heady days of gorging are nearly done.

We're not the only ones enjoying the last days of autumn - Sally has welcomed the cooler weather by finally becoming so comfortable in her role of barn princess that she is allowing the woman to pick her up and pat her. She accompanies the woman and Penny on their walks down the farm lane and makes a point of climbing various trees, perching on branches and addressing the world in a small but confident voice. She has lost the perpetually worried look that she has worn since her arrival and is sleek and glossy. It's no secret that I am a great admirer and friend of cats and it does a donkey's soul good to see her so happy.

Lest you think I have weakened on the doom and gloom front, I'd just like to add that today the woman peered at me and said, "Sheaffer, we need to start thinking of a fun costume for your big birthday bash next spring." We all know perfectly well that the words "fun" and "costume' strike fear and dread into a respectable donkey's heart. Now I'm going to have nightmares all winter about appearing in public dressed as a figure of ridicule. If I weren't so terrified of shavings bags, I'd just put one over my head.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Black and Bitter Disappointment

I think you know from the title what I am about to say. I have been horribly betrayed at the last minute and left, literally, waiting at the fence for my ride to the opera.

This is how the betrayal unfolded. My friends from Ottawa arrived and rushed to my side. They brushed and cossetted me and removed the residue of burrs that was stuck to my person. They said I looked slimmer, fitter, wiser and infinitely furrier. In short, they are the perfect visitors. Yesterday Jack and I took them, and Herself, for a stroll - I understood it was an afternoon constitutional to ready us for an evening of sitting and absorbing culture.

In late afternoon, the humans retired to the house to ready themselves. Now, I had been assured just that morning by the youngest visitor that I was most certainly in the opera party. I have known her all my life and most of hers; she is the one and only human ever allowed to sit on my person. I trust her words completely. She has never told me anything but the truth.

Well, out comes the woman, her face somewhat clean and her hair somewhat under control, nearly ready for the departure. She let the other three into their rooms and I politely went to the fence nearest the opera vehicle and waited. Nothing happened. I waited a bit more and finally went to the barn door to remind her that I was ready. My dinner was in my room and she encouraged me to enter. I refused. She finally strong-armed me inside and snapped the stall guard into place. I began to cry plaintively that there was a terrible misunderstanding and all she said was that she would see us later. My cries followed her out the door.

The young visitor pleaded in vain, saying I would behave better than all the human attendees combined and that I would love the elevating device and the refreshments. Herself laughed raucously at the very idea and they all piled into the vehicle. I was utterly bereft.

Of course the opera was magnificent - featuring all the required elements of drama, pathos and betrayal (I know about that first-hoof). The young visitor described all I had missed (there was even what looked like a hoof paring knife wielded by the heroine!) and said she had missed having me in the seat next to her. It's nice to have at least one ally, athough I'm stuck here with - I can't even bring myself to mention her name.

Jack was fine with missing the performance. "huh", he said, "if it don't got minnie perl in it, it ain't worth bendin an ear to."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm Going to the Opera!

Yes! Finally, they seem to have recognized my unquenched thirst and desperate longing for a few hours staring at the splendor of classically trained singers in full operatic garb. My top hat is buffed and and my opera glasses gleaming. The opera in question is Madama Butterfly and of course I have already committed every note to memory. I may feel inclined to burst into song at the more dramatic bits.

I know I must be invited because I heard the woman saying that our friends from the Nation's Capital are coming and that "we" are all going as a group. Obviously, I am to be one of the party. Jack says he has his doubts and that he would only go if someone called Minnie Pearl of the Grand Ole Opry was singing. Never heard of the woman. He went on to say she was known for her straw hat with the price tag dangling off the front. Then he lapsed into one of his chuckling fits that always ends in a round of coughing. I'm afraid he's losing touch with the real world, poor old man. Doc wants to come as well, outfitted with his air horn and foam finger. I assured him he was not invited and that brawling in the seats is highly unlikely.

On another note (hehheh, pardon the small pun), the woman placed a bag of pellets in the aisle today and went off to dump the wheelbarrow. The bag was already open so I investigated further by tasting said pellets. Not bad at all and certainly better than the dreadful pellets we are served at dinner. She returned while I had my head in the bag and scared me half to death by bellowing my name and asking what I thought I was doing. She pried my jaws apart and whisked out the loose material. It seems these new pellets are some sort of bedding she is trying out - one which expands rapidly when exposed to water.

Jack found the situation hilarious and kept saying things like "Thar she blows!" and "Man the lifeboats!". I spent a day focussed intently on my inner workings and waiting for the rumblings to subside. Fortunately, the feeling of fullness has passed and I was able to manage both lunch and dinner.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A BIG Red Tractor and a Change in Our Linen Closet

I've had an extraordinarily busy week - Jack and I have been on the go from sunup till sundown. We've been supervising non-stop but managed to fit in some time for donkey frolics. The rain and wind have now set in and night temperatures hover around zero so our days of frolic are numbered.

Last weekend the male human and our friend/sometime minder, Jamie, appeared in the run-in with all sorts of wonderful power tools. They began wrestling bales of hay and staggering about with large, flat sheets of thin wood so of course we rushed in and crowded around to help. It seems they were constructing a bin type thing so the woman could buy our bedding in bulk, thus saving millions of dollars (I think that's the number she mentioned). It began to rain (of course) so that meant that along with Sally and Penny, who also insisted on helping, there were eight bodies in a small space.

The only unpleasant part was when Jamie wheeled a metal cart with tool boxes in my general direction - I snorted and fled out into the rain. He felt so guilty that he came out to coax me in and just as I was regaining my composure the male human appeared in the barn door with a yellow snake coiled around his arm. I fled once more into the foul elements. They tried to explain that it was a power cord but I know a viper when I see one.

The next day the woman went off in the truck and re-appeared with a mound of bedding in the back. It was supposed to be covered with a tarpaulin but she was defeated by the wind and made her way home at low speed, leaving a thin coating of wood shavings over two counties. She backed into the run-in and once more we hastened into the breach to give assistance. Well, as much as possible since she had barred the entrances with gates and doors.

It took her ages to move said shavings from point A to point B. We stayed with her throughout and were there when she climbed into the truck bed, stood up, bonked her head on a rafter, promptly lost her balance and toppled into the shavings. Her vocabulary hit a new low as she massaged the top of her head while muttering threats at the rogue rafter. At one point Jack became highly indignant at being locked out of his run-in and began rapping imperiously on the metal side door. Herself threw the door open and hissed at him that her head was already throbbing and she didn't need the sound of a donkey jack hammering on metal, thank you very much, even if the donkey in question was actually called Jack.

The day after this bedding excitement a huge red tractor appeared in our fields and began plowing them up in preparation for next spring. It's even larger than the huge green one and is hinged in the middle like an ant. As is my custom. I stuck my head through the fence for a better look and could see the driver looking askance as he cleared my head by inches. He need not worry, I have it down to a fine art.

Meanwhile, Doc and Molly and even Jack, belted around the paddock, prentending the red tractor was a gigantic monster after their very life blood. Doc did his version of air boxing, Molly did her impression of a runaway freight train and Jack wove in and out of the trees at high speed, his tail rotating like a helicopter's blades. It was exhausting just watching them.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Devil In Jack

Jack's regression into extreme youth, and it's ensuing hijinks, continues apace. Frankly, I don't know where this will all end, except possibly with my having a nervous breakdown. He might as well just get a toupee (or rug, as he calls it), a motorized sports vehicle with a retractable top and a pair of those wrap-around sunglasses. It's most unseemly in one so ancient. When I suggest he act his age, he replies that he is acting exactly as old as he feels.

The latest events began when I was slumbering in the sun and felt a light pressure against my side. I heard Jack's muffled voice saying "be keerful sonny, the blue puffball's after ya". I opened my eyes slightly and turned to see that indeed, a ginormous blue sphere was pressed into my side. It was hideous, the mother of all puffballs, and obviously a mutant of special colour. I trumpeted a warning and charged directly into a tree. When I recovered, the thing was still upon my person, so I dropped my hind end and launched myself into the field, hitting the ground at a tremendous pace. Jack remained at my side and that's when I realized he was the one pressing the object against me and that in fact it was an equine plaything called a "Jolly Ball". I felt distinctly un-jolly and berated Jack in no uncertain terms. He didn't care one whit - just stood there wheezing and chuckling to himself like one demented.

That very same night Jack decided that his tail needed a good rubbing and so he backed up to his waterbucket and began to shimmy back and forth while emitting a low humming sound. The water in the bucket formed itself into waves and finally into an enormous tsunami which shot into my room, soaking my bedding. He said he was sorry and told me I could share his room, which would be fine if there weren't a gate inbetween. Then he lay down in his own thick, DRY bed and was asleep in no time. I stood in a puddle up against the wall till morning when the woman released us.

The last bit is entirely the woman's fault. She has begun to play these disc things that contain music in the tack room, often singing along tunelessly and much too loud. The music varies widely, sometimes classical, sometimes the dreadful rock and roll cacophany and the other day something called bluegrass. I have not heard this sort of "music" before and to my well-tuned ears it sounds like grown men howling and shrieking along with plaintive-sounding string instruments, notably something called a banjo. The themes are dismal and feature coal mining, betrayal, loss, disaster, crop failure and the demise of someone or something called "ole Dixie".

Jack was touched to his core. He stood outside the tack room window and listened carefully and then he began to "sing" along. He brayed and bellowed and groaned and, combined with the bluegrass noise, it sounded like the torture of the damned. The woman finally turned the racket off and went out to see if Jack was alright. He was just fine and was quite annoyed at having his accompaniment removed. Thankfully, she took the disc back to the house, saying she was afraid the neighbours would report us for animal cruelty. I wonder if Jack may originally hail from the southern United States . . .

Unfortunately, she continues to play Doc's favourites, the electricians' group called AC/DC and Molly's favourite, a collection of disco hits. My favourites, Beethoven, Bach, Handel and the other pillers of classical music appear only occasionally. I need to move to Vienna.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Pleasant Walk Ends In A Personal Assault

We have broken some sort of weather record for days without rain - and a good thing after the water-logged days of summer. The pears and apples have ripened and the crows are reeling around drunkenly on the lawn, brawling and screaming avian obsceneties at each other.

Jack and I have been doing some extremely pleasant walking of the humans in this autumnal landscape, self making sure to avoid even eye contact with puffballs. I also hold my breath in their vicinity in case a spore should try to lodge in or on my person. In short, it's the seasonal gift from mother nature before we are viciously assaulted by winter.

There are many ancient apple trees in the hedgerows on our farm, with apples species from long ago. We wander from tree to tree, sampling and comparing notes, like two vintners on a stroll. Jack cannot manage a whole apple so the woman bites off small pieces and hands them to him. I know - utterly revolting but he seems not to mind.

We returned from one of these excursions and were enjoying the evening routine of dinner, grooming etc. when the woman noticed my bed was a tad on the thin side. Well. You know how I feel about shavings bags. They share the top of the list with puffballs when it comes to things that terrify me. So what does she do? Marches in with a bag of shavings and begins to shake them out. I was plastered against the back wall when she suddenly squawked and threw herself on top of me!

I sprang into action, piaffing on the spot and trying to rid myself of the crushing weight. We formed a tangle of limbs, scrambling to free ourselves of each other. "Sheaffer, stand still for heaven's sake!" she gasped. We finally fell into seperate heaps on the floor. She SAYS she caught her toe on the edge of the mat, which caused her to be propelled directly onto my person. I say it was a savage and unprovoked attack. For what reason, I cannot fathom, but I do know she is mentally unhinged.

Jack watched all of this while steadily inhaling his gruel and when it was over said, "Lissen Tornado, kin you and the Rodeo Queen take it outside nex time?" No sympathy there. That's what happens after living in the cold, cruel world for over four decades.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wildlife Goes... Wilder

I hardly know what to think. One minute I hear the humans saying "the city" is in the process of engulfing us and the next minute various flora and fauna are causing my mane and tail to turn white overnight. This all took place in a twenty-four hour period and has left me on a level of extreme high alert.

It all began when the woman and Molly returned from a forest ride just as it was growing dark. Molly was let into the paddock so she could roll and stretch before going in for the night. A few minutes later the woman returned and as we saw her exit the house we began a chorus of complaint and demand - "dinnerdinnerdinner!!!" - something like that. Penny exited the house so fast she appeared to be jet propelled. She hit the wall of shrubbery next to the wheat field and promptly emerged in pursuit of an unfamiliar, heavily furred canine form. They made a beeline for our paddock in the now near-darkness.

Both forms ran nearly under Jack and self. Doc bellowed and began charging at them. Molly began shrieking "save the food, save the food!" and all of us tore around the paddock madly giving voice. When the dust began to settle, Jack coughed and said "ya buncha pinheaded peabrains, it's a fox, doncha know!" Oh. That explained the red fur, voluminous tail and generally intelligent air. Penny carried on with the pursuit and we finally went inside to work on our delayed dinners.

As we were eating our unfashionably late meals, the woman casually mentioned that she was told there is a mountain lion living in the forest from which she and Molly had just returned, said forest being a proverbial stone's throw from here. What?! A fox is one thing but a large feline predator? This is sheer madness. I feel like a homesteading pioneer donkey, fending off the more violent elements right on my own barnstep. The woman pointed out that we live inside at night and that no mountain lion/cougar/puma could possibly make off with someone of my generous girth. I'd rather not be put to the test, thank you very much.

The last part of the wildlife trilogy occurred today when the woman took Jack and self out for a promenade. Imagine my shock when I discovered a gigantic white sphere - the size of my dinner bucket - next to the path and within sight of our paddock. I froze in my hoofprints, snorting loudly and repeatedly and moving my head up and down to try and size the thing up. An alien spaceship, no doubt about it. What else could materialize out of thin air and simply sit there emitting a pale, sickly glow ? Jack was eating a few fall leaves and gave those his full attention. When he wanted to move on he said "sonny, them things grow every year - they caint move or nothin." How does he know these things? How can I be sure? I plan to keep a very close watch on it. The woman called the object a puffball and said I should be able to recognize one of my immediate family. It's the sort of boorish response I've come to expect.

Frankly, I'm exhausted. A sojourn at a cottage would be nice. I wouldn't have to worry about the wildlife - it's all right here in my own back yard.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Abandoned - Again

There appears to be a pattern unfolding around here. Herself just gets back from somewhere, we get her nicely settled into looking after our needs and whoosh, she's gone again. This time it was to something called a "cottage". It sounds exactly like the sort of retreat I needed to restore my shattered nerves so of course I was excluded.

I understand this cottage to be some sort of semi-rustic abode, situated at the side of a lake, in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no one else around. A donkey haven, but sadly free of donkeys. Annie the horse's humans were there and my two humans and a dog. Why a dog and not a donkey? I cannot not possibly guess. The wildlife appears to run riot, generally hooting and hollering and waking everyone up at the crack of dawn so perhaps there is some sort of rough justice at work.

Like Ratty and Moley in "The Wind in The Willows" there was much pottering about in boats, dozing in deck chairs with a book propped up for show and consumption of vast quantities of food and drink. An aquatic waterfowl called a Loon and it's offspring, a Loonette, I presume, cruised by at intervals and made high-pitched cackling noises at the humans. My sentiments precisely.

Annie's humans sent me a box of gummi goblins, or maybe they're trolls. In any case, they are small ,vaguely person-shaped sweets and the meagre few I've sampled are delicious. At least someone was thinking of me.

And now I hope we're back to regular programming for the near future.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How (Not) To Dig A Ditch

I am well acquainted with the need for humans to rearrange the landscape and generally rummage about, creating chaos. I had an exhausting few days last winter with the Flat Man and his crew, who came and dug up the side of the road and then put it back the way it was originally. I don't understand it but I know it's best to keep a close watch over them when they are so possessed.

When the male human and Jamie, our sometimes minder, appeared at the edge of our paddock with digging implements, all four of us rushed over to give advice and offer opinions. We chewed on the handles of said implements to ensure they were safe to use and licked the metal digging surface just to be sure. As each mound of earth grew, we climbed into the resulting trench and tried to paw the dirt back in. We stood as close to them as possible just in case they should require even more help and rolled in the dirt piles to flatten them. We were so helpful they declared us ready for employment at the Health and Safety Board. Actually, they said Un-Safety Board but I'm sure they mis-spoke.

For ages now a plastic conduit snake has lain at the edge of our paddock and although we have often used it as exercise equipment and to polish our teeth, we never knew what exactly it was meant to do. It seems it conceals various coloured wires that are somehow able to illuminate a glass orb atop a wooden post. I ascertained this as I oversaw every step of the male human constructing these post thingies. Oddly, he has built them just out of donkey reach or my report would be more detailed. Jack says they're candle holders but I somehow doubt it. In any case, our snake is now dwelling underground.

After thoroughly inspecting the posts, we caused the woman a good deal of stress today by returning to the barn covered in burrs. She has worked diligently for years to eradicate these irritants from our paddock but a few holdouts remain. She removed all of my burr collection and put it in a neat pile ready to go in the fire. Jack lined up for his turn. Meanwhile, I discovered she had put the burr pile directly on a patch of prime rolling dust and proceeded to indulge in a thorough cleansing. The entire pile stuck to my topside like a bristly blanket. My, how she carried on! She removed the burrs for a second time and - you can probably guess what happened next. Jack was so inspired by my creativity that he tried to roll as well but Herself dragged us both away with many muttered threats.

Today we helped her with weeding the sand area where she spins the horses on a rope and where they have "schooling" in something or other. The things she makes them practice look covoluted and undignified so Jack and I prefer to simply look away - or to lie on the main track where she is practicing this nonsense. We like the weeding exercise the best and were able to follow her every move, spreading the piles of weeds she had collected and distributing them evenly. She got the weeds collected again and Jack and I were possessed of a tremendous urge to do some high-speed "rasslin" and somehow the weed piles were spread around once more. I won't repeat what she said - Jack said in his day she would have had her mouth washed out with soap. What an excellent idea. She could do with some verbal cleansing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A PrimRose Update

The woman has been saying for weeks now that a visit to the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary was in the offing - I assumed, of course, that I was to be among those making the visit. The visit took place but sadly I was left behind and the woman was accompanied by Mosby Horse's human. Herself is the perfect example of someone afflicted by speciesism. The loss is hers: I am a perfect travelling companion.

I debriefed her and have the following to report. TJ is part of a small gang of small equine ruffians who tear about the place, creating chaos, until someone older and bolder "cleans their clock" as Jack puts it. TJ is training a human called Lauren to ring a bell and then dispense a treat. By this means she is gradually increasing the amount of time he will spend with her and he is letting her scritch him on his itchy spots. The woman says he is looking much more relaxed and less wary - very nice for him, I'm sure, as long as he stays out of my orbit.

Tabby (Tabolinski) the mammoth donkey is looking quite splendid. He's shiny and his feet, which caused him horrible pain and suffering, are vastly improved. Russel the mule who was at my birthday party has gained another hundred or so pounds and is feeling positively Jack-like in his outlook. PrimRose herself has shed out to a wonderous sheen and she doesn't look a day over twenty. Goliath the mini donkey keeps close tabs on his two sheep and Blue and Lollipop are still anxiously awaiting new homes. So are Bert and Ernie, who are now a year old and in need of a family of their own. Lucy and Charlie also wait patiently -we donkeys know how to be patient and PrimRose is a haven but they are looking forward to meeting their new humans.

What, you may ask, did the woman deliver to the PrimRose donkeys? Why, dewormers of course! I understand some humans take wine or flowers, but not Herself, oh no, it just has to be vermifuge. They also took bags of things from my correspondent completecare, which I'm pleased to say, did not include dewormers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Wonderful Visit, A Thwarted Escape

As promised, Willy and Roberta Donkey sent over their delegation of humans yesterday in a brave but vain attempt to release me from servitude at the hands of Herself. And what superior humans they are! They arrived bearing gifts for us and for the donkeys of the PrimRose Sanctuary and were full of compliments for all - not a mention of donkey cellulite or a snide remark about donkey waistlines. Note to woman - good breeding is either present, or in her case, conspicuously absent.

These superior beings rushed from their vehicle to our paddock and immediately presented us with hostess gifts of gummi worms and Stud Muffins. Herself confiscated the gifts and stowed them in the tack room, rationing the amount the visitors were allowed to feed us. Philistine. We were in the midst of a lovely visit when she comandeered them and dragged them off to lunch on the lawn. I was deep in conversation with Uncle Ed and was not pleased to be rudely interrupted by yet another of her whims.

They managed to break free eventually and back they all came to take us for a donkey stroll. By now they had been joined by Mosby's human, whom I have known since the age of a few months. She brought us her usual thoughtful gift of Tic Tac mints. Again, good breeding... I'll say no more. Jack and I donned our strolling halters, we passed through the gate and all of us assembled on the lawn. I'm sure you can guess what happened next? Oh yes. Herself had hatched a fiendish plan which wreaked havoc and created utter chaos for the next half hour or so. I should mention that summer has finally arrived with a wallop and the temperature is hovering near ninety, with such humidity that the air is nearly liquid.

Her plan was as follows. Jack despises all things veterinary and that includes the ritual of deworming, which rolls around every three months. He regards it as an attack on his person, a ritual poisoning and something to be fought with all his strength. Herself had enlisted the reluctant visitors in an underhanded campaign to bribe Jack with bits of Stud Muffins and while he was thus preoccupied, she slid the plastic tube into the side of his mouth and shot the dewormer down his throat. It appeared to have worked very well until Jack realized what had happened and flew into a rage.

He stamped his feet, he shook his ears, he made terrible faces and he spun around in circles, until he eventually shot off down the farm lane, towing Mosby's human in his wake like a water skier. She hung on gamely until a tree came between them. She returned rope burned and panting but otherwise fine. Jack barged through the trees into a field and charged past us at approximately 93 miles per hour, still looking every inch the outraged victim of a murderous plot. The humans galloped off to the next field to arrest his progress. They engaged in a standoff until Jack agreed that Uncle Ed could catch him, but he forbade the traitorous women to even come near him.

We carried on with the walk but Jack was still boiling internally - outwardly he hadn't even broken a sweat. The humans, however, were looking distinctly dampish. Jack remained hostile to the woman until this evening when he began to thaw slightly. I'm quite impressed. I thought I was a champion grudge-holder but he outperforms me in both severity and duration when it comes to maintaining a state of the highest dudgeon. There's no angrier donkey than an ancient donkey.

The humans retired back to the lawn to take on gallons of liquid in an attempt to stave off dehydration. I know the visitors were more than willing to grant me passage out of this madhouse but Herself wouldn't hear of it. I am doomed to remain an indentured serf.

On a happier note, Penny was initially quite nervous and distant when my visitors arrived - she is a rescue dog who had a rough start in life and she feels humans must be assessed from a distance before they can safely be approached. By the time they came to our paddock she had decided they were quite acceptable and even deserving of some entertainment. To that end she put on a show of water sports in our trough that left it full of sand and dog hair. She dove in and out at high speed, she lay down in it and bit the surface, she spun in circles and she emerged like a very small black and white killer whale, water cascading off in all directions. The visitors were highly amused and even better, the woman was left muttering about having to scrub and refill the tub.

I had three gummi worms in my dinner and Jack had a Stud Muffin crumbled on top of his gruel. They are the sole evidence of the wonderful visitors who appeared and, too soon, were gone. We can only hope that one day they will make their way back to us.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What More Can I Say..?

Things have fallen to a whole new level of shoddiness and neglect around here. Herself just gets back from gallivanting and off she goes again. This time she returned with some human friend she has know since her childhood or "the year dot" as Jack calls it. Our chores were done and we were fed, yes, but the level of attention was not even the minimum of what we have come to expect. I just don't know where to turn.

Said human friend hails from somewhere called the West Coast, where life is a round of balmy weather and fruit drinks and where my friend Red the horse shares her life. I spied on her, or rather, observered her closely from behind a fence post while she was trying to read on the lawn but she said she could see the tips of my ears and my waistline on either side of the post. These days nothing seems to go as planned.

This human also expressed a desire for an earth-shattering thunder storm, with light show, as she has not seem one in years. She must have powerful connections because not five minutes after her arrival, the skies opened, we were blinded by laser bolts and the rain came down in sheets. Very gothic and quite satisfying to watch from the comfort of our rooms. There was a loud kerrrrrack mid-storm and daylight revealed half of a large tree sprawled in the front paddock, the fence and a dish thing on a pole taken down in the fury. For two days all that lay between us and complete freedom was the stinging wire in the middle of the paddock. Molly gamely tried to take it down but even her well-insulated muzzle wasn't up to the task. Her whiskers are somewhat charred but she's already busy growing new ones.

Today some officious humans arrived and carved up the tree and unfortunately also replaced the broken post and rails. We supervised as best we could but proper hoofs-on supervision is difficult from the wrong side of the dastardly wire. The woman took photos of the after-storm carnage but of course now her pea brain has misplaced the camera. I may have to draw what I saw.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Report on Team Sheaffer's Fund Raising

One is always hesitant to lend one's name to any sort of venture lest the behaviour of the participants is less than stellar. However, I am pleased to report that the Team Sheaffer group comported themselves in an impeccable manner on yesterday's Al Humphrey Memorial Ride, which is a fundraiser to battle cancer. I was especially worried about the woman in case she suddenly took to drink or started some sort of brawl but fortunately she limited herself to a low-key breakfast of pancakes and sausage provided before the ride.

Molly went off in the box on wheels to meet up with five other human and horse duos who had pledged to raise money for the cause. They navigated several forests and journeyed a total of 25 kms to complete the course. Molly wore a pink bonnet/fly deterrent headpiece, designed and sewn by Brenda the human, that caused her to receive many compliments, which is always bad for her ego. It was made especially for the ride and if Molly likes anything, it's being the centre of attention while sporting a one-off fashion statement. My team raised just under one thousand dollars and the only difficulty was in convincing Molly it wasn't hers to spend on snacks and entertainment.

Jack and I went for another brisk walk today - the woman declaring sarcastically (as is her wont) that only one donkey managed to walk briskly, and it wasn't the young one. Could she mean me? Jack was walking the male human who said he thought Jack wanted to go into the woods to have a look around. I would have preferred to stay in the meadow, snacking lightly, but Jack marched into the woods like an explorer and had himself a fine time choosing which paths he preferred. I trudged behind and had to stop for breath on one particularly steep hill he had chosen. Then we walked the humans home and we were invited up on the porch. Jack acted as if he has tea on the porch every Sunday but I put my foot down and refused to go up there. I rolled my eyes and curled my lip and groaned and the woman said "Sheaffer, why don't you just hire a hall?' What's that supposed to mean?

It was most unfortunate that the beauteous Miss Annie could not travel over for the event yesterday - her human was swamped by various things such as hay deliveries and something called office work. Humans can be so fickle. We boys have been quite downcast since we heard the news. Food would help.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This and That

Yes. Well. Jack had a marvellous time "writin" on what he calls my "blob" and I'm glad he got a chance to fill you in on some of his misadventures and trials. Egads, what a full and sometimes alarming life! Of course, I'm stuck doing daily battle with the woman for my rights but it somehow pales by comparison. I liked Sheila of PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary the minute I met her but now I have an even greater insight into what goes on there in terms of helping needy donkeys. It's a whole other world, I'm afraid.

"mrs primrose", as Jack calls Sheila, got the woman up to date on sanctuary news today, including the fact that TJ is allowing himself to be bribed into human contact as long as he is fed a steady stream of cinnamon hearts. I'm not surprised at his choice of bribe; sugary but with a strong, spicy finishing kick. He is part of the rougher crowd of under-ten-hands boys and they swagger around like a gang from "Westside Story" - without all that singing, thank goodness.

The extremely beauteous Annie mare is coming on Friday to take part in a weekend fundraising ride. We three boys are slicking down our eyebrows and practicing suave introductory lines. I'm not sure why. Last year she simply rolled her eyes, swished past us and got down to some serious grazing with Molly. Annie will stay for a few days before embarking like a princess onto the royal yacht (with wheels) and returning to her charges, Fred and Ginger Donkey.

I hope my correspondent, Uncle Ed, is feverishly at work on my ark. It's been so wet here we're all beginning to have layers of pale green mould growing on us. Those of us with desert origins need a few of those days that blister paint and cause the woman to steam slightly while toiling away in our rooms. I like my four feet planted firmly in the hot sand.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And Now A Word From Jack

our frend billie what hails from a carolina ast for a update on my life and times so here i am. the little fella finds my dialec a tad hard to translate so i figgered i'd jest do it miself, tho words ain't no spechulty of mine .

things here is reel good fer a ole man like miself and i'm feeling like a donkey reborned - not a day over four an a haf. mi coat went back to bein a shiny blak colour this summer and mi feet is jest perfec and i'm tole i even have some extra paddin over mi ribs. all i kno is i got so much energee that i jest has to cut loose mos evenins and rip snort around like a rebel. the young lad - i usualy calls him sonny on account his name is so high class no one can hardlee spell it or say it. well anyway he says i'm near to givin him papatations cus i rassel so good. holy smokers, that boy breethes some heavy when i git him runnin.

i tell him he needs ta relax his mind cos its spinnin a mile a minit. he studies everythin and gits hissself in a state over pritty near whatevers goin. theres so much nowlege crammed in between his ears im serprised there ain't smoke comin out. that caint be good for a body. mine you, he aint lost no weight threw all his frettin. that boy packs her in good at dinnertime. he's a fine boy tho and a grand frend to me. i near to give up on everthin til i met him and now he fills up a big space in mi hart.

heres how i come to be here. i was a grown donkey when i was took to a place what give rides to people (some of em too heavy fer me) and i went in perades and so on. i done this fer twenny seven years with my fren Hoolio, a real small fella who was my age. it were a bizzy place with young folk workin there in the summer and in the evenins when the boss didn see, some rough type young fellas used to play rodeo on mi back - they yelled and kicked me and smacked at me til i threw em off. i guess they had fun but i sure as heck didn. thas another reason mi back is so swayed.

then about six, seven year ago me and Hoolio and some ponies what had werked fer all them years was what they call retireed. we was took a mile from the place to a fiel and cut loose. old Hoolio took it so hard he jus lay down an died after three weeks an my heart jus folded up to the size of a pebble. i stood over him til the humins came and took him awy - i didn want no low down coyotes gettin at him. i et nothin fer days an them ponies picked at me and kep me outta the small shelter and mi teeth got neglected and mi feet too and then i stayed so wet fer so long i got a rot type thing on mi body and some lice set up shop an mi feet growed all funny and i near gave up hope.

one day in the middle of the cold seeson that lady from the primrose donkey place showed up and took us all away. they spoke kind and carried me into the moving box caus i was too shakee to do it miself. then she commenced to restorin mi health. i hav a thing called a murmering hart and was eemaciatied so they cooked me all kinds a stuf to git me some weight on. a few week later along come a vitinery gal - no red hare on this one - and they doped me up and went to cleanin mi teeth. i tel ya the smell even made me turn green. that vit gal had tears in her eyes cos she never seen nothin lik it and it took three sessions to get all the plaks off mi teeth an to haul out the rotten ones. i had a buncha abcessssess and all in all eatin wernt easy. then they got after the things that was growin on me. i began ta git some hope goin but i never palled up with none of them other donkeys. ta be onest, i was still missin Hoolio.

then one fine day in earlee summer las year bak i go in the movin box. oh no i sez to miself, i'm goin bak to that fiel. but no, we drove and drove and when the door open, i was at this heer place. and who do i see in the fiel? fer sure its Hoolio i think. i git closer an it aint Hoolio but sonny boy and after a few minits i start to like his company a lot - hes quiet and gentel and excep fer all that thinkin, he's a jim dandy charakter. we been close buddies ever since.

him and the woman argues all the time tho her and me get on real good. she says to everyone - give jack whatever he wants an they do it. i git spechul food and lots of it and have mi own room with a big bed. fer all there bickerin as soon as the woman or sonny boy are outta site of each other, why, arent they lookin for the other one. makes me believe ones as crazee as the other. sonny boy aint never lived no where else an he thinks he has it hard like here - i tole him about what i wen threw and he caint hardlee believe it. between you and me and the fencepost, he's jest a bit what ya called indulged.

the molly mare is fine - she's a full sister to the woman from what i can tell - look the same, ack the same - bossee but frenlee. doc is big boss and looks out for us all - ya jest gotta do what he sez and everhthins smooth. i like the dog jest fine and spen lotsa time tryin ta straiten her tale. cats is good too but who ever knos what a cat is thinkin. the male humin gotta a lot a time fer me and him and me are real close.

so there ya go. this here is mor words then i used in a lifetime but now ya kno some a mi storee. the woman took some piktures a me today so you can see mi new blak coat.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She Just Won't STAY Fired

Honestly, what is wrong with the woman? Here we were having a perfectly grand time with Marianne when who should show up like a tax bill but Herself with Molly in tow. Was I not clear enough when I dismissed her? I will simply stare through her until I can fashion a new scheme to deal with her irresponsibility.

Molly is so full of herself we could tie a string to her, let her float aloft and sell advertising space on her gigantic inflated head. You'd think she'd scaled Kilamanjaro single-hoofedly, carrying a load of bricks - in reality it was worse - she had to carry the woman. I mean, really, it was only the Adirondacks. She's still blathering on about her two new boyfriends and her BFF (???), Annie.

We boys had a mainly restful time, punctuated by Doc screaming Molly's name out on an hourly basis. Might as well live with Stanley Kowalski. Marianne is not stingy with the hay and assured the woman we are the most sociable group for whom she has ever chambermaided. The woman calls us a group of micro-managing social directors. A perfect example of why we prefer Marianne.

When Molly hopped out of the trailer, we three boys began a chorus of greetings that could be heard in Manhattan. We snuffled her all over and she did indeed smell like someone who had just returned from several sweaty days in the mountains. Doc could not contain himself and performed a happy dance that consisted of running in circles whilst leaping in the air like a spring lamb. He then herded Molly out to pasture as if she'd never been here before. Molly just looks like the world-weary traveller -if she chewed gum, she'd be popping it. She slept so deeply last night that her snores rattled the windows.

The woman did corner me and skritch my ears and make disgusting kissing noises on my nose in an effort to get some sort of detente underway. If she goes so far as to employ carrots as a peace offering my resolve will be severely tested.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

That's It - She's Fired!

And about time, too. I've been extremely lenient about the shocking lack of attention I've received lately but enough is enough. It's one thing their returning from a leisurely vacation empty handed (of donkey presents). They had other things which are of no earthly use to me - for example, a large portable rain-proof dome and some ridiculous shoes for human feet. HOWEVER, I take great umbrage at being casually dismissed for the last several days because the woman and Molly are embarking on their annual clomping-off-to-the-mountains trip.

First, Molly got special metal shoes with golf cleats on the heels. We three boys only got the usual rasp and file treatment. This is not a pony who should have shoes. Her already annoying habit of rapping on her stall door has turned into a veritable " strum und drang" session every evening at dinner time. Then the woman shrieks "stopthatrightnowori'llsellyoutothegypsiesfordogfood". Most uncivilized and reminiscent of those dreadful after-Christmas stampedes I've heard of on the radio thingy.

Then - you won't believe this one - Molly the ATV pony got a chiropractic adjustment. First one I've seen and if you ask me, that man had his work cut out for him. Molly loved it and only gave a startled grunt when her neck made a sound like a cracking two by four. Of all the nonsense I've been forced to witness, this is the limit. Jack calls it "jest high class rasslin" and I believe he's correct.

Now, the trailer is being packed with enough supplies to keep a Lewis and Clarke expedition going for a year. Molly oversees from her side of the fence, looking very smug, and reminding the woman to pack adequate food supplies, including treats, special powders, mints and other dainties. Honestly. That pony could live off her blubber until the snow flies.

The last straw (oh wait, I think she packed that for Molly as well) came today when I sidled up to the woman and asked for my eleventh ear rub of the day. I usually average about fifteen. She said "Sheaffer, I just don't have time. I'll make it up to you when I get back." Oh no she won't. I dismissed her on the spot. We are having the far superior Marianne in to see to our needs and I plan to offer her the position full-time. I think I've been more than reasonable but how much more could a donkey be expected to bear?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

This Is Most Inconvenient

And inconsiderate. The two resident humans left town last Monday for a trip to the Nation's Capital and did not notify me until they were about to embark in their motorized vehicle. I stood at the fence, absolutely stunned, and called for them to return immediately. They simply drove off in a cloud of dust. They returned today and I am shunning them for the forseeable future, especially as they went to museums and excluded self and Jack. I love museums, just not the ones Jack calls "all modreen and new fangled". Give me an acre or so of dusty mummies or ancient pottery and I'm a donkey in my element. I'm extremely hurt by their callousness.

We had the human called Jamie caring for us and there are no complaints in that department. The woman leaves a list of instructions, wants, needs, peccadillos, preferences and must haves that he follows to the letter. She even gave him a course in how to cook Jack's dinner. As you may be able to tell, he is a donkey man to the core and is far superior to Herself in every way. We would like to do a swap but she seems to be relentlessly un-swapable. Like a bad smell, she just keeps finding her way back.

Sally greeted her with a lavish display of purring and rolling on the floor but we have maintanined a stoney silence. It irks her no end. Best of all, Sally keeps inadvertently scaring the woman half to death by playing with large bumblebees. The bees land in the hay storage to scout around and Sally amuses herself by pushing them down with her paw and slowly releasing the pressure to see if they are still there. They are, and growing more apoplectic by the second. The woman tries to distract Sally but the result is that Sally simply releases her hold and the bee makes- well, a bee line - for the woman, causing her to do a series of frantic backwards leaps into the hay storage gate. Highly entertaining, especially when Molly is holding the gate firmly shut with her muscular muzzle.

I haven't decided when I will resume communication with the woman but plan to make her suffer for a sufficiently long period of time. We didn't even get guilt presents this time. She must be made to pay.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Sweet Surprise on a Sweltering Day

I think I mentioned a while back that my generously girthed friend CindyLouWho, a magnificent, grey edifice of a horse, sent me a surprise package to relieve the monotony of my days. Her mission was wildly successful and we four equines are now addicted to a wonderful food called Gummy Worms. Along with those came some of our favourite white mints and, a first for us, some pink mints that deliver a satisfyingly strong jolt.

I had been forewarned of the impending arrival of a surprise package and so was expecting the brown box on wheels that appeared in our driveway. A cheerful sort of male human said he had a package for Sheaffer - that's me - and all four of us crowded the fence to oversee the delivery. The driver complimented all of us on our shiny coats and friendly demeanor but instead of handing me the box, he entrusted it to Herself.

I began to stalk off in an offended manner but the woman said I could go into the barn with her and help to unwrap the parcel. I brightened up considerably. Jack and I went inside and the horses were left out, which is the proper state of affairs. With much fumbling of the hoofpick and general clumsiness, she finally got the box open. We gasped at the treasure within. A round container with colourful stringy things in it and a label that said: VERMIFUGE DEFENSE. There were instruction, too, and these said:



Utterly brilliant. as you can see. The plan came apart when she opened the lid, let us smell the contents and said "You can try some with your dinner". There is just no wresting control from the resident despot. She showed us the other two bags that were nestled in the box and they said "Canada Mints" and had a charming illustration of a group of donkeys underneath. How utterly civilized. She opened the bag of pink mints and passed them around. Molly inhaled hers, Doc made faces but ate his, Jack said nothankyouhe'dstickwiththewhiteones and I sniffed mine thoroughly and then slid it into my mouth. Like a fine old cheese or well-aged bottle of port, the taste built slowly, finishing in a blast of what I believe is called wintergreen. My eyes watered a bit and I sneezed a few times and the woman said I looked like an Archbishop taking snuff. It was all most satisfying.

She broke out the Gummy Worms with dinner, as promised, and they were a sensation. Molly inhaled hers like spaghetti, Doc spat his out and picked it up several times before finally deciding it wasn't dangerous, Jack refused to make eye contact with his and I snorted and retreated to the back of my stall. The woman put four of the gift worms in my bowl for me to examine at my leisure. I took my time but after touching one with the tip of my tongue, I proceeded to explore further. Texture: strangely slippery. Taste: fruity, with flowery undertones. Conclusion: excellent and now a staple in a well-balanced donkey diet.

Of course, these gift items - correction, MY gift items, are being doled out like the rarest truffles, in very small quantities and not frequently enough. Oh well, I suppose 'tis enough to fleetingly taste the foods of the gods.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Starvation Averted - For Now

Our hay supply was so low that it had gotten to the point where the woman was driving around the countryside, buying two bales at a time from various humans. Needless to say, I spent my nights fretfully walking the stall mat and the days (between mouthfuls of grass) staring anxiously down our driveway for a glimpse of the food wagon. Finally, around mid-day Friday, we sighted a load rumbling and swaying it's way toward us. We converged on it like Napoleon's troops arriving at a Moscow bakery after a brisk winter walk from France.

Unfortunately, Herself had barred and chained all doors and gates so our initial plan to actually climb aboard the wagon was met with failure. Fortunately, delivery of hay involves a lot of spillage and we waded into that with alacrity. The female offspring of the hay man was quite smitten with Doc who in turn thought she was quite wonderful - they have the same colour hair - red - although she is not a "vitinry". The offspring stood there for ages and when her father asked her why she was rooted to the spot, she said "He's chewing on my shirt" in quite a pleased manner. The woman growled at Doc and that was that. Jack simply refused to go near the girl just in case she had medical intentions.

Jack celebrated the arrival of winter provisions by instigating a vigourous wrestling match as soon as the wagon rattled away. My word, he's an agile old man with a treasure trove of moves accumulated over the decades. Last night he upped the ante even further. He hid in the greenery and ambushed me like a crazed predator. We bolted in and out of the trees and Jack displayed dressage moves not seen outside the Spanish Riding School. He twirled on one hind hoof, he got down on both hocks and leapt into the air, he spun in circles like a cow pony and he got me in a neck vise lock and spun me around til I saw stars. On and on it went, with me vainly suggesting a truce be called. Finally, he gave a series of massive bucks and trotted off with his tail whirling and his head elevated and tilted rakishly, all the while snorting victoriously. I can barely move today - he's as fresh as paint. The woman took photos and put them on my picasa page so the world can see that ancient can also be alarmingly agile.

I received some very exciting gifts lately and have had Herself take photos so you can see them. The first is an admirable sign sent to me by Bouncy Dog via one of his humans. I knew that boy was made of the right stuff when I met him at my party. He is a huge admirer of all things donkey - including Ben and Jerry, whom he guards assiduously. Thoughtful dog that he is, he sent me a token of his affection. Thanks also to Gayle the human who acted as intermediary in facilitating the chain of events.

The other gifts are from my very large friend CindyLouWho. A mysterious box appeared on Friday and the contents are extraordinary. I will tell you about them in my next post and will chivy the woman into creating some images of them. Thank goodness for friends near and far; it makes my state of oppression bearable.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Take This, Jack Frost!

It's getting hot enough that the woman swears both her nose and the paint on the barn will soon start blistering. I say bring it on! She calls this hot? Hah! We donkeys call it comfortably warmish. Everyone else (except the cats, who are really just small donkeys) is panting and perspiring and carrying on as if we live on the surface of Mars. For heaven's sake, Jack still has much of his winter coat and he finds it "jest passin' comfrable".

Herself has been embroiled (almost literally) in cleaning out our hay storage and we take great pleasure in watching her gradually turn a bright shade of crimson under her dust mask. She sweeps and rakes and brushes down cobwebs and trundles load after load of hay leavings out to compost behind the silo. I can assure you, it's all perfectly edible and we spend much energy trying to get at it. She says it's dusty and horrible but this is from someone who has been known to eat fish and other strange things.

All this activity is a pleasant change from last week, when I had a close call while scratching my ears. I was pulled up under one of our old trees giving myself a thorough ear massage when said tree began making the oddest noises. Creeeeeeek, squeeeeeek, grrrrrroan. I listened carefully to see if I could decipher a message. There was a deafening sound, CRRRRRRRRACCCCCK, and the whole thing fell on top of me! I was only saved by my lightning fast reflexes - I dropped slightly and shot out from under like a scalded hare.

I trumpeted loudly and both Doc and the woman responded immediately. The woman had been cleaning Molly's room and had heard the prelimary noises. She rushed to the door just in time to see me assaulted by the rogue tree. Doc bellowed and galloped to meet me. They both checked me over thoroughly and pronounced me in passably good shape, except for my jangled nervous system. I've been accused of having an unusually suspicious mind and overly reactive reflexes - and good thing, too, if nature is going to spring that sort of surprise on me.

On a brighter note, I think I can safely predict the arrival of a load of sweet smelling new hay in the near future.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Birthday Party/Fundraiser Pictures

With the help of Bouncy Dog I was able today to finally post the pictures of my party taken by the woman. They can be seen at

Now, if they just let us so-called "animals" run the world, it would be a much better organized place. The things with which I must put up. Honestly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Doc Days of Summer

The last few days have been filled with extremely Doc-centric activities so I felt I should bring my readers up to speed before he pops up in the headlines of a national newspaper. Unlike Jack and self, Doc likes his days to be filled with lots of excitement and he doesn't really care how or why it arrives in his orbit. His favourite criticism of quiet times is "Borrrrrring". Not original or insightful in any way, but definintely Doc at his pithiest.

He does not care for the sort of trail riding the woman and Molly pursue but he does love something called "showing". Showing consists of large numbers of horses and humans congregating in one spot so the humans can have nervous breakdowns and the horses can show off their paces. Doc and the woman did this sort of nonsense years ago and lately he has been hinting strongly that he would like to do this again. Herself agreed most reluctantly and the two of them have been practicing various movements for weeks now. She even got out the clothing she wore years ago and with the liberal use of axel grease and a shoehorn, managed to get them on her person. Both sets of Doc's apparel, which is called tack, were scrubbed and polished and she even got out his halter with the silver bits on it.

Doc had an absolutely wonderful time and had lots of adventures, all of which he enjoyed. He saw two vehicles with flashing lights and sirens that hauled away injured humans, he met an infant human who invited him to play on the slide and swing set (he was all for it but was unceremoniously dragged away) and he tried various food groups, including something called pretzels. The woman came back looking like an over-ripe aubergine and Doc returned sweaty and tired but very pleased with some bits of ribbon he won. He would like to do this every weekend but the woman said something about hades being iced over first.

Doc was feeling a little melancholy by today and just generally finding home life tedious when a most amazing thing happened. The young lad who delivers our bedding left the gate open! Doc found it first and of course the woman noticed and closed it before we other three could escape. She ran off after him armed with halter, shank and a bag of carrot bribes. Doc travelled through the wheat field in front of the house and made a bee line for the road. The woman was trotting along parallel to him at a distance and swears her legs turned to jelly when he ran up the embankment and between two cars coming from opposite directions. Both managed to miss him.

Doc checked out the new corn at the neighbour's and crossed back to our side when he heard the carrot bag rustling. He was haltered and led back to join us. We gave all sorts of loud comments and advice as the event unfolded and welcomed him back with a chorus of whinnies and brays. The woman looked strangely greyish and sweaty. Quite unattractive. Doc was his usual cheerful self and vows to try to escape again as soon as possible and this time to try the pool of swimming water at the neighbour's. The lad who was responsible for all this excitement has been notified and swears to never let it happen again. We'll see, we'll see. Jack says if he ever escapes it will take more than a bag of carrots to get him out of ninety three acres of wheat. Molly says she'll head for the bright lights of town and I would weigh my options carefully, capture not being one of them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

World's Largest Vacuum on Wheels

We were foraging weakly for sustenance on our barren side of the stinging wire this morning when an amazing conveyance began beeping it's way down the driveway backwards. It was enormous and had an array of pipes and hoses draped all over it. It also had an intriguing aroma wafting from it's very core. We were enthralled and flocked to the fence to see (and smell) what would happen next.

Two male humans jumped down and began conversing with the woman. Then they went around the back of the house and began sticking a metal rod in the ground at about one foot intervals. We rushed to that area of the fence and leaned closer. They must have found what they were looking for because then they began to dig like two very efficient badgers. They dragged out a slab of something rock-like and peered into the depths.

By now I was nearly beside myself with curiosity and began to call to them plaintively to let me out so I could peer into the abyss. They misunderstood completely and simply laughed in an amused fashion. "Are you sure you're a donkey, little buddy, you look more like a beer keg on sticks!" they said. The nerve! And then Jack said something absolutely incredible. "Don't worry, it's just them guys what vacuums out the skeptic tank" The sceptics? They're kept in underground chambers? How utterly confusing - and disturbing. Why have I never heard of this bizarre practice?

They then dragged over an enormous hose which they stuck in the underground chamber and the vehicle began panting and roaring heavily. The air was redolent of - I'm not sure what, but it was certainly powerful and pungent enough to make our eyes water. When satisfied with their work, they replaced the slab and covered it back up with earth.

The woman seemed quite pleased with all of this and actually remunerated them for their services. I simply don't know what to make of it. Just one more thing to worry about, I suppose.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Criminal Activity at Our Barn

My writing machine has been repaired but I find it a tad jumpy since it's fit of the vapours or whatever it was it had. We had a wonderful typewriting machine that dated from before the second great war - the kind that requires massive amounts of force to print a letter on the page. It was a solid, no-nonsense machine that never broke down. Of course herself had to give it to one of the younger relatives as a family heirloom.

The crime spree began yesterday when all the mats in our run-in disappeared. The woman did a preliminary search but failed to turn up anything mat-like. She sighed and carried on with cleaning our rooms. After lunch she returned and discovered the electric water boiling device and the radio box with the voices in it had also disappeared. She began to become quite alarmed and wondered out loud if we had had burglers with a fixation on small appliances.

She questioned the male human but he claimed to be unaware of the strange goings-on. Back to the paddock she came, scratching her dishevelled coiffure. She began exploring further afield in the paddock and discovered the mats piled up against the fence, out of view. The water boiling device was discovered in the shrubbery and the box of voices was dangling from a low tree branch. Herself was utterly perplexed.

She trudged back to the barn to top up our bedding and to replace the devices on the tack room window sill. There was a rustling sound and there was Molly, pushing up the window so she could access the newly repositioned devices. "Ahaaa!" said the woman, "I should have known! " With that she slammed the window shut and engaged the locking mechanism. Of course we equines knew all about the mysterious crime spree but remained silent in a show of solidarity.

What the woman doesn't know is that Molly is so resentful of having the stinging wire cutting us off from the lushest grass that she has launched a campaign of sabotage against Herself. She plans to have the woman completely unhinged by midsummer. So far so good. The battle rages on, with Molly claiming to be proud of her new title of "Pony Kleptomaniac" or "Ponyiac" for short. You simply can't shame someone who is shameless. I await the next installment with greatest interest. Guerrilla warfare has a bright side after all.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sally Steps Out Of Her Shell

It's been a busy week around here for the resident felines. Of course, when it isn't raining the weather is conducive to all sorts of activities - Jack and I have been sun and dust bathing and sampling anything new and green that pops up. The two cats, on the other paw, have been busy with more nefarious pursuits.

Some poor, deluded thrush or finch or something or other has built a nest in the corner of the porch, only to have become a source of never-ending scrutiny and entertainment for Violet. Though she pretends her interest is of the friendly, scientific variety, her eyes are narrow and her tail quivery. She is shut in the house for periods of time so the bird can sit on the eggs but we can hear the outraged howls and yowls all the way out in our paddock. This does not auger well.

Sally and Penny have become great friends, in fact Sally is so impressed by Penny that she has decided she too is a dog. When the woman takes Penny for her morning constitutional down the farm lane, Sally trots behind, staring in wonder at her surroundings. Just to be on the safe side, and to appear large and fierce, she raises a mohawk of hair along her back and puffs out her tail for the whole trip. The other day the woman took the path that goes into the woods. Sally stopped at the entrance and stared in all directions, her mouth open in a perfect "O" shape. Then she carefully raised every hair on her small person, even the fur on the top of her head. Thus enlarged, she proceeded into the woods.

When Penny lies in the sun, Sally stretches out beside her, back to back, and when Penny has a snack from the tack room cupboard, Sally sits beside her and has one too. They both supervise all the gardening and Sally has become a keen participant. She football tackles plants and shrubs and has reduced some of the greenery to rubble. She particlularly likes a grassy-looking plant that smells of onions. Today the woman told her she smells of falafel - it should be spelled fal-awful, given the fumes emanating from Sally's beige coat. Being a very busy cat, her ablutions are more of a lick and a promise so it's a good thing she is mainly shades of dirt.

Today the woman climbed on Doc and then Molly and piloted them around the sand area. Strange, I know, but they all seem to enjoy it. The woman was working on some manoeuvre that involves stopping and then backing Molly up. Sally rushed up, threw herself upside down directly in front of Molly and grabbed her ankle, pretending to chew on it like a sabre toothed tiger. Molly, good natured soul that she is, waited patiently and finally reached down and nuzzled Sally. Sally rushed off in pursuit of an insect so the crisis was averted. Jack and I decided that the bits of grass growing in the sand area were highly desirable and the woman kept getting Doc and Molly to chase us out. I finally just lay down on what she calls the track and forced her to go around me while I napped. She keeps saying all the inhabitants of the forest put together aren't as disruptive as we are. I take that as a great compliment.

The wretched writing machine is still hospitalized so I can't show you any pictures but someone at my party took a video and apparently you may view it on something called YouTube if you type the words Sheaffer Donkey in the box marked search. I don't understand the musical accompaniment but it's pleasant nonetheless.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm A Victim Of Technical Tyranny

The male human has lent us his electronic writing device during the evenings until my own is repaired. Good thing because mine has "fried it's Mother Board". I have heard of Mother Hubbard, Mother Nature, Mother Goose and Mother Earth but I have no idea who this Mother Board is. In any case, the writing device had a massive colic attack and fell into a comatose state. We are waiting to hear if medical/technical intervention may help.

Now, where was I. I think it best if I jot down random pictures of what I can remember of the day itself. Things really began to move at a frantic pace on Saturday when the woman went to pick up my cakes. The head baker came out and asked her if Sheaffer was her son because the staff had all been wondering about the unusual name. Unusual? I think not. She told them I was a miniture donkey who was celebrating a birthday and the baker bellowed to the others "It's not her kid, it's a DONKEY!" What extraordinary behaviour - I would never be so rude as to bellow at a group of fellow donkeys. "It's not her donkey it's a BAKER!" The cakes themselves were quite magnificent, one having a series of confectionery carrots on top and the other saying "Happy Birthday Sheaffer" and having a theme of musical notes and bars. She told them the Balloon, Noah's Ark and Alphabet Block themes were unacceptable. She baked a third cake herself that looked like two paving stones covered in mud - I'm sure she meant well. The coloured beads on top couldn't disguise the inherent architectural flaws, I'm afraid.

Saturday dawned sunny and fair and we left in a bustle of packing and last minute rushing about. On their part, not mine. Jack cried piteously and herself was so distraught she was only dissuaded with difficulty that he would settle once we were out of sight. She was ready to unload me and stay home. Jack's sitter checked on him shortly thereafter and he was grazing calmly with the horses. We rolled into the party site around 10am.

Such bustle I've never seen! People organizing baked goods, numbering items for auction and setting up tables and canopies and I don't know what else. I was escorted around the entire premises by two delightful young human ladies named Stephanie and Emily. Whenever I would politely suggest another avenue of exploration they would immediately turn in that direction. I met young Ben and Jerry and they were in prime party form - Jerry had put some sort of red glue in his hair as a festive note. Ben is more conservative and stuck with his grey flannel suit. I also met young Nacho and he is a fine lad who is in the process of becoming a large and imposing donkey. It was his first time away from home and he was exemplary. The humans behaved like an ant colony that has gotten into the coffee grounds - made my head spin.

Just after noon Sheila's metal box on wheels hove into view. Out stepped the venerable but undeniably attractive PrimRose, followed by Russel the mule who has gained a good three hundred pounds since arriving at Sheila's disguised as a skeleton. He looks wonderful, as you can see by the pictures. I confess, I was quite smitten by PrimRose and made gentlemanly overtures but alas I was spurned each time. These affairs of the heart are an emotional minefield.

I was then taken to my dressing room where the woman installed my crown (I say it's a tiara) - she says it's platinum with precious stones but I say it's a petroleum by-product, ie.plastic. She made me a purple velvet sash - she said it was velvet but I believe it to be velveteen - I know my fabrics. It was fastened at the front with my birthday award ribbon. All in all quite satisfactory.

The guests began arriving, refreshments appeared and from then on it was a social whirl. All of my guests were charming, witty and impeccably behaved. They brought me gifts of carrots and apples and stud muffins - most of which I have yet to see again. We donkeys (and Russel) mixed and mingled and tried to spend time with each guest. I was talking with CompleteCare, who posts on here, when it was announced the cakes were about to be cut. A chorus of "Happy Birthday" rose to the skies and Winsome Wendy escorted me over to the table where I inspected the three creations. I'll say no more about the third, smaller, mud slab. In deference to my fear of fire, the candles remained unlit. Winsome Wendy slipped me a taste of icing and it was much appreciated.

The hats in attendance were spectacular and the judges, Jacks senior and junior had their work cut out picking the winners. The human who posts for Bouncy Dog took first prize with a dazzling creation that featured not only a fruit motif but a picture of self on the front. CompleteCare took runner-up prize with an equally brilliant piece of hatmaking. It had all sorts of hay-like material stuck on it and also a garland of fresh cedar. It looked delicious.

By the time the festivities wound down, we had amassed a total of $1550.17 for the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary. Staggering, considering our goal was $700.00! We were all elated, no one more so than Sheila, who can now replace the badly leaking roof on the implement shed. The afternoon ended with everyone feeling tired but exilharated.

I returned home to a warm welcome from all, especially Jack, who tried desperately to get the gate open when I was still halfway down the driveway. He checked me all over for damage and Doc and Molly inexplicably felt the need to wash me thoroughly. Somewhat unnerving but nice to know they care.

There were many humans involved in making this event happen, key amongst them Emi and Rob the humans who worked tirelessly organizing things, buying items and then running my party. Brenda and Jill who baked so many cookies and cupcakes and wrapped so many items. Cindy who used her professional skills to make the silent auction a roaring success and also ran the 50/50 draw. June, who managed to partition baked things in pans with the use of only a plastic knife. Margaret and Lauren who served birthday cake tirelessly and of course Shayla, who helped everyone with everything throughout. Vartkes was my official lensman and will be forwarding an album of photos any time now. And of course many heartfelt thanks to those near and far who donated monies and baking and items for the silent auction.

I know I am forgetting some names but herself has a limited attention span and her brain is beginning to emit a buzzing sound. And so I will sign off for now but the memory of that day will live on. There is already talk of doing it again next year. My sash is neatly folded and my crown polished.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Parchment Blew Up!

Just a hasty note from the repair shop -the dreaded electronic device has blown up or thrown a shoe or something. It's fairly dead. My apologies - if she listened to me and wrote by hand like a civilized person this wouldn't have happened. It's going to the electronics hospital and heaven knows when it will return...soon I hope, I have much to tell you.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Now THAT Was a Party!

I'm late getting my preliminary report out because the woman is still in what she calls "recovery mode". Odd, as I was the one doing all the work. She says the nervous tics will go away eventually and the overall tendency of the landscape to oscillate slightly will fade. Honestly, she needs to be made of sterner stuff, like a donkey.

The weather couldn't have been better, my outfit was dignified (purple sash, crown- I still say it was a tiara but we won't quibble -and low-key blue ribbon). We had a large turnout and the donations for the silent auction and bake sale tables were staggering. Cake was consumed, lemon squash drunk, tea served in styrofoam cups (I had ordered bone china), and the music was classical.

I met long-time blog friends who had come from afar and they were even more wonderful in person (if that's possible). CompleteCare, human to Willy donkey and his mother Roberta, Uncle Ed, Winsome Wendy and the kind human who is caretaker to the equine crew. I spent a lot of time visiting with them and they are donkey supporters to their very core. Not a word about cellulite or bad haircuts. Just sheer graciousness and civility.

There were sixty items in the silent auction and Tuffy ruled triumphant at the centre of the table. Human Brenda did up a very fine box and wrapping for Tuffy and his egg and he peered out regally from his throne. Bidding was furious and he's gone home with a very nice lady to run her life.

I have so much to tell you and I will write more later but my main news is that we raised $1,550.17 for PrimRose so far with some cheques still to come. Sheila was so happy she was nearly speechless. It's so much more than we expected that she can now get a new roof on the shed at the end of the barn that houses all sorts of important things. I think she needs one as it snowed two feet worth on the inside last winter.

Thank you everyone. This was such an outpouring of donations and goodwill that it helps to redress the balance for donkeys like Theodore. As Jack said "Yuh done good. Now jest stop tarryhootin all over and stay home where ya belong."

Pics to follow.