Sunday, February 1, 2009

Donkey News From Africa

I keep an eagle eye on the important stories of the day and have some excellent donkey news to report from Africa. This particular story comes from Ethiopia where illiteracy and mistreatment of donkeys are both widespread.

To combat these issues, a colourfully painted wooden cart, pulled by two earnest, scholarly looking donkeys, tours through the towns. The sides of the cart fold down, revealing rows of books and a collection of small stools. Local children are thus given instant access to both reading materials and a place to sit. The two donkeys are unhitched and given a rest in a shady spot. I can think of no better calling for a donkey. Bringing literacy to the masses via a slow and stately means of transport, lots of stops for rest/snacks/admiration and never, ever any snow. Or ice. Or that lunatic Jack Frost. But I digress.

The entourage includes an elderly donkey called Queen Helena, who wears embroidered finery, including quite a spectacular head-dress. Given the shocking treatment of donkeys in that country, her role is to educate human youth as to the true importance of our species and the respect we deserve. I plan to offer my services as King Sheaffer should she decide to retire. I would feel quite comfortable wearing a crown and any flowing robes required, in spite of the extreme heat.

The link to this wonderful story is as follows
And thank you to my alert correspondent in Ottawa who posts on here as "libraryperson". She is someone who knows all about books.


Finn the Wonder Pony said...

This is a wonderful story! Thank you libraryperson, for bringing it to Sheaffer, hence, to all of us. Sheaffer, you are indeed the King Of All Donkeys. We fans and friends should begin the search for appropriate headgear and silks for you... Hmmm, I think my woman has a Persian Silk scarf that would look stunning draped around your shoulders...

I would like to wish Moseby a happy belated birthday. I certainly hope I look as good as he does when I reach that venerable age.

Jack a definite hero, having mastered not only getting into the barn, but locking the woman out... unfortunately, our door cannot be locked from either direction. I can break in if kept out, but cannot lock it behind me while I snack freely on the hay bales. The way Jack eats his dinner off his stall reminds me of my friend Tucker, who used to live with us. Tucker's stall has a little shelf on the top board. Tucker would take a bite of grain, pick up his head, slather it across the shelf while he chewed, then go back and eat the rest off the shelf. It was quite amusing to watch. Also amusing to hear the woman cussing as she washed the resultant drips off the wall in the summer. (G)

P Phil of PA says 6 more weeks of winter... eeewwww!

Anonymous said...

Our Goddess is gone. Yesterday she was whisked away in the vanilla horse van and we are bereft. Could this have something to do with the break-in to the hay stall on Friday? Or our dragging horse blankets down and trampling them? Or eating the broom?

Alas. We are alone and unappreciated.

To add insult to injury, our suggestion January 6 that you investigate donkeys in Ethiopia has been attributed to someone else - probably a taller equine.

February - the cruelest month.

Finn the Wonder Pony said...

Oh Fred & Ginger! I'm sorry! Kudos to you two for finding that great news story! Should have known it was one of Sheaffer's kin...

billie said...

What a great story! And lovely photo. I hope everyone stays warm and dry. It was 60 degrees and sunny here today when I arrived home but now SNOW is predicted tonight and tomorrow. Good grief! But... for all those in far northern weather, get on the boxcar and come on down anyway. We'll warm up again by the weekend!

Anonymous said...

Primrose Video
Ponymaid - I notice that the Primrose web link does not work - maybe Sheila should check this.

Meanwhile, there is a great video of Primrose on YouTube at

Two minutes of fuzzy donkey closeups and a rather naughty ending.

It says that all the residents came from abusive homes. No whisper that the most notorious resident (TJ) is himself a tiny tyrant of epic proportions.

ponymaid said...

CindyLou, it seems the story was sent to me by TWO of my contacts in Ottawa - very alert readers in the Nation's Capital. It is a wonderful example of both humans and donkeys working together to shake off the shackles of oppression (the woman says I wouldn't know oppression if I stepped in it). Jack never ceases to amaze me, if he's not locksmithing, he's inventing a new method of dining. He must have spoken to your friend Tucker. I think I loathe groundhogs as much as J.Frost.

Ginger, you musn't blame me for the woman's mutton-headedness. You know as well as I what a state her brain is in - like an empty parking lot with a few scraps of litter blowing around. I will see if there is a new web site for Primrose. That was a rather naughty ending - TJ must have been on the other side of the camera.

Billie, are you in a snowdrift? If so I will hold off on the boxcar til your spring blooms are up. Like going from the frying pan to the fire otherwise, but minus any sort of warmth.

libraryperson said...

So you have 2 smart contacts in Ottawa. We are lost in the snowdrifts here.

Libraryperson and Abracadabra

Gale said...

Fred 'n Ginger, after a little searching a few weeks ago, I found it (Primrose):

Oh, when you said the ending was "naughty," I was quite expecting something else. I thought the ending was funny!!!

I'm back...briefly...we have a new addition to our donkey gang, a little rescue orphan. I will tell you all about her when I get an opportunity. Her name is Amy.

Hey, Sheaffer, have you missed me?

ponymaid said...

GALE! Missed you? I should say so! As my earliest and staunchest supporter I have found your absence most disheartening. I can't wait for you to tell us Amy's story - another one saved. I hope we can count on your continued visits to my blog?

ponymaid said...

Oh, and Gale, thank you for the PrimRose web site address. Amos, who appears on the video clip is a great favourite of the woman's. Brennan passed away last fall and Sheila is still missing him. They are/were both around Jack's age.