Sunday, May 30, 2010

THE PARTY - Phase One

I hardly know where to begin. My head is spinning, my hoofs are aching and I have indentations from my crown but we emerged victorious at the end of the day. The sun shone, meat tubes were barbequed, baking was sold by the tonne and the silent auction drew them in like moths to a candle. Tickets were sold for various contests and my army of volunteers kept smiling throughout. I think the woman may have been grimacing from a touch of navicular in both her trotters, but I will graciously call it smiling. And Primrose has such a fetching new hat creation that she won the hat contest!

Short of flogging Herself, I can extract no further typing from her palsied hands today but I just want to say we made $4,000. 00 for Sheila, so the PrimRose donkeys will be assured of hay for the next year. That is more than double what the humans were aiming to raise. The first pictures are rolling in, thanks to Gazelle, who tirelessly shot photo after photo for hours on end. She has graciously given us a link so I may share them with you:

I have known Emi (human to Mosby horse) all my life and I cannot tell you how much time and effort she put into this event. She is a small person with a huge spirit and an even greater love of donkeys. Thank you Emi, for holding the fundraiser at your beautiful property, for all the organizing you did, all the money you spent, and for giving and giving and giving on all levels, always with a cheerful smile. You are much loved by your many friends and family of all species and greatly admired by this small donkey.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Two Reasons Why

The woman and I are asked quite often how Sheila, who runs the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary, keeps going day after day. She has seen every possible negative aspect of human nature at work in the guise of the neglected and abused donkeys who make their way to her farm. Still she smiles, never raises her voice and one by one, tries to help the sanctuary residents and educate humans on how to properly care for donkeys in general.

I know some of you have heard me speak of Tabi (Tabolinski), the mammoth donkey who luckily found himself in Sheila's care. He had worked tirelessly pulling logs from the forest, without benefit of footcare for ages. When he was sold, his new owner decided to "fix" his feet all in one go, and the bony structure inside dropped down to his soles, leaving him in agony. Sheila and her vet and farrier and the volunteers nursed him back to health and he was looking shiny and standing comfortably, soaking up the sun and finally leading a wonderful life. One day last week Sheila went out to prepare donkey breakfasts and Tabi had died in the night. She is devastated. We have no details as yet but I know there are many of us, human and donkey, who know how much Sheila's heart is aching right now. I hope she remembers that even though his life was short - he was only in his mid-teens - she gave a great soul the chance to know what loving care is all about. He will be greatly missed.

On a happier note, Theodore, the "dumpster donkey" is thriving in his new home. After having been nearly beaten to death with a shovel by a lunatic who tied him to a dumpster and left him there to die, Sheila was called and he was taken to the sanctuary. To say he had trust issues is a massive understatement. Sheila felt his nightmarish experiences would make him a liftetime resident. One day a teenage human and her mother went to visit the sanctuary. Theodore marched up to the girl and declared she was "the one".

He went to live at her home and from being virturally untouchable, he is now calmly having his feet done by the foot man, being brushed, haltered and led everywhere. Last winter, he and his group of horses came into the barn during a bad storm. Theodore and the humans realized at the same time that one horse was missing. Back out went Theodore, up a steep hill, in the blinding snow, where he moved in close to the horse and led him back down the hill with the horse's muzzle pressed into his furry back. His day wasn't done yet. The teenage human's father found a chicken out in the roadway in the same blizzard and brought it home, fearing it wouldn't last the night. The chicken was put into the warm barn. In the morning the chicken was found fully recovered, nestled on Theodore's warm back. Theodore does not take his new home for granted. He knows how truly terrible humans can be but has the judgement to recognize the good ones when he meets them. That farm is in good hooves with Theodore in charge.

Those are just two of the many reasons we want to make the "Big Day" a very big success. Thank you to all who are working so hard to help my donkey friends and thank you to Sheila for doing, day in and day out, what most of us cannot even imagine. She's a woman on a mission and I gladly lend my name to anything that will help her to keep PrimRose up and running.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Party Approacheth

I don't know how socialites do it. This party planning is exhausting. I have a team of humans labouring practically round the clock and still I'm worn to a frazzle. Just hearing about the preparations saps my strength.

They have rented some fascinating boxes called porta-potties for the guests, which seem to be a sort of equivalent to the box Violet uses as her washroom facilities. I must look into this further - but not too closely, if you take my meaning. The woman has told me not to stare at users as they come and go because it makes them uncomfortable. So many things for an inquiring donkey to remember. Especially as I like to stare for long periods of time.

Auction items are pouring in - art work of various schools, prints, jewellery, garden ornaments, books, food (for various species), gift cards, the two small, rare bears, purses, and many other wonderful things. The line-up of tables laden down with donated items should stretch nearly to the border at this rate.

There was a bit of a fracas between Ben and Jerry, which has resulted in part of Jerry's mane going missing. It remains to be seen how their humans will handle the situation. The boys aren't really too bothered - their party spirit is unquenchable. The woman has been combing away at my coat, to no avail so far. I refuse to shed a hair until the summer solstice arrives and that is that. Can't be too careful. If it can snow in May, anything can happen.

Herself may attempt some baking at the end of the week. This should prove interesting. She is famous for her misshapen cakes and geometrically challenged squares. I will report on her failings.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Crown Has Arrived

You may remember that at my last year's party I was forced to wear a tiara, though the woman protested mightily that it was really a small crown. Prevarication, of course, but I knew the truth. This year I insisted on a proper crown - gold, with rubies and emeralds.

It has arrived and on Sunday she and her crafty friend Brenda appeared in the paddock to fit the thing properly. Now, I'm not a jeweller by trade but frankly this object looks suspicious to me. Herself assured me it was pure gold with rare gems but I have my doubts. For one thing, it shouldn't be quite so floppy and for another I think those gems are fakes. AND, would a real crown have something called velcro fastenings? I think not. She wouldn't let me examine it closely so it's hard to say.

It has been whisked off to Brenda's workshop to be made a smaller size and I just wonder, can real crowns be sewn and stapled into shape? I think not. As with last year, I have invited the Queen to drop in for tea if she's in the area on the day and if she does, I'm rubbing this faux crown off on a shrub as soon as her carriage hoves into view.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Brazen Thief and a Secret Tippler

I've been robbed and assaulted. Jack and I were dozing in the front paddock, enjoying the sun after a weekend of snow and high winds. It's still quite cool out so there are no flies yet - in other words, a perfect situation in which to catch up on my rest in preparation for the big event. We dozed on for a while and Jack eventually got up and went to stand beside the fence.

I had my eyes closed, running through the speech I've prepared in case I'm asked to address the throngs, when I became aware of a certain disturbance in my tail. It felt as if it was moving on it's own, followed by a sensation like a pin being jabbed into it. I would turn around and - nothing, Just some birds fooling about in the distance.

Eventually Herself, who had been watching from the house, bustled up with her camera and said, "Sheaffer, does your tail feel...a bit odd?" How did she know? She pointed to a black avian with a sheen like oil on a puddle (one of those lower-class hoodlums who travel in gangs and steal things). It was in the very act of sidling up to my tail to pull out yet another hair! It seems the blasted thing was in search of house building material and decided I was some sort of renovation depot. Honestly. I'm not overly blessed in the tail department and here it was being removed a hair at a time. Can't even close my eyes these days without some sort of trauma.

On a happier note, I believe Jack and I have discovered that Herself is a secret drinker! I've always suspected her of having a weakness despite her protestations that half a glass of wine with Christmas dinner is her limit for the year. She was babbling away in the barn this morning, asking us what sort of champagne she should purchase for one of the baskets she is making up for the auction. It was a cover. She returned mid-morning with a bag containing a spirits bottle that may or may not have been empty, clasped firmly in hand. Jack and I peered through the fence and there she was, staggering toward the house. "Pie -eyed", said Jack gleefully. "Sloshed", I said. "Drunk as a skunk!"he said! " "Snockered! I said.

She noticed us and said "What are YOU TWO looking at?" She had obviously sped through the jovial and melancholy stages of inebriation and entered the beligerent phase. Either that or the large bag of Penny food and container of Violet washroom material, in addition to the suspicious spirits bag, was weighing her down and causing her to be testy and unbalanced. Jack and I are firmly on the side of inebriation rather than preoccupation with party planning and pet supplies. Jack wants to stage what he calls an "interference" (I believe he means intervention). Good luck, I say. Right now I'm just busy protecting what's left of my tail.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

First Fundraiser/Auction Bulletin

Such hustle. Such bustle. With the grand day only two and a half weeks away, things are beginning to pick up pace. There are many intriguing and interesting items for the silent auction and I thought it was time I told you about three quite special ones.

First up are two small and valuable bears. Last year Tuffy, a creation of the very talented artist Veronica Philion, took part in the auction. This year she is sending TWO bears, Otis and Sage. Otis is a veritable giant at three inches and Sage is a more petite two and a half inches, befitting a delicate and refined girl bear. Otis is crafted from natural, needle-felted Alberta Romney wool and Sage from New Zealand Romney wool of the palest green. AND, there is such interest in these two rare bears that there will be off-site collectors bidding as well. How exciting - my very own version of Sotheby's! Veronica's talent and award-winning figures can be viewed at

Next up is Brighty of the Grand Canyon himself, in the shape of a rare and now-discontinued Breyer figurine. He is a much-beloved character who was introduced in the book of the same name many years ago. He comes complete with his own film. It should be noted that he is sculpted in a sitting position, reminiscent of a tiny terrorist mini-mule who lived here for awhile. However, it is clear from his open and pleasant visage that he in no way resembles you-know-who. Thank you Gazelle for sending him to help raise funds for PrimRose.

I also hear rumours of a gigantic stuffed donkey that the woman says is a somewhat smaller version of myself. She says nothing equine is quite as well stuffed as I am; I will be the judge of that when I meet the plush donkey in question. Thank you to North York Farmers, who are purveyors of feeds and grains for equines, including my own family. It's not their fault that the woman chooses to follow in the footsteps of the unreformed Scrooge when it comes to actually doling the stuff out. Their fine emporium of all things farm and equine may be viewed at

I would also like to send a mammoth donkey-sized thank you to Gale and Mr. Gale of Olde Towne Farm in Mineral, Virginia for a most generous cheque. They have been blog followers and correspondents from the beginning and I consider it a privilege to call them my friends.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Attacked by A Sasquatch in My Own Room!

This is how it came to pass. The woman was grooming Doc in the aisle one evening this week just after we finished our hot meal and what with his contented sighing and the sound of brushing in the background I must have slipped into a light doze. Next was Molly's turn but I knew from the sounds that a transfer in the crossties has taken place and didn't even bother to open my eyes to check. More sighing, more brushing, more dozing. A drowsy peacefulness settled over the barn.

There was some clunking and clomping and thumping as Molly made her way back into her room and I slowly opened one eye to survey the aisle. Well! Making it's way toward me on invisible feet was an enormous, hairy mass, approximately three times the size of Penny. It skulked sideways in an evil and stealth-like manner. Then it paused when it saw me looking at it and pretended to subside to the floor. I gave the alarm and Jack awoke, bumping his head on his gate, Doc rushed to his front window to scan the horizon and Molly smacked her lips and went back to sleep.

As usual the woman instantly questioned my sanity, Doc said he didn't see "nothin", and Jack demanded to know what in tarnation I was playin' at. The woman saw the source of my consternation and began to giggle in her inane way. "Sheaff, look, it's the mass of hair I combed out of Molly", she said. She prodded it with her toe and it collapsed. It seems that, ahem, it's levitation was a result of a breeze blowing through the back door. Honestly, I close my eyes for a nano second and the world goes mad. And by the way, what normal horse can shed that amount of hair every night for weeks on end? I need a holiday, especially as my party plans are gaining momentum. I don't want dark circles under my eyes on the big day.