Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the amazing, flying, Houdini donkey

aka Redford.

The past few days he has discovered a mysterious way out of the big barnyard, where he goes to a little patch of green just at the edge of the biggest flower bed, and he stands there and nibbles.

He doesn't try to go further, or leave, he just stands there and enjoys his freedom. Salina and Rafer Johnson peer at him through the big green gate, and he seems to enjoy that. Look at me! I'm glad I can still see you both, but I like it out here!

Redford has a quieter personality than Rafer Johnson. He does not like the full body hugs that Rafer adores giving, although he does like what I call "mini" hugs. But Redford is the one who stands quietly outside the feed room door every morning, and it is Redford's little nose that is almost always right behind me as I make my way through morning chores. He's very loving and companionable - he's just quiet about it.

One thing will make him bray, louder than you could imagine a young donkey could bray. And that's if Rafer Johnson goes out of his sight, or leaves Redford to squeeze into the arena and play with the big boys. Redford will bray over and over again for his brother to come back. If that doesn't work he hops up on the platform by the arena and brays more.

However, he seems to be quite fine with being separated when it's HIM initiating the separation!

We have made two major adjustments to the area he's escaping. And still, yesterday morning, he managed to get through. We can't figure it out, and he never does it while we're watching. I think some no-climb wire over there might be in order. Which should take care of it unless by chance he's flying over. If he is, we will have to call in our donkey experts, Ken and Marty, and get some advice. :)


the7msn said...

Oh how I love to read donkey antics. Perhaps you should set up a barn cam -- we could all help you monitor what goes on! I'm guessing Redford would catch on and smile right into the lens.

billie said...

Oh, I can just see that, Linda - Redford's little star and then his serious little donkey eyes peering up close to the lens. Making not a sound, but if you can read a donkey glance, you know he was saying this:

Watch me! I'm leaving the barnyard! REDFORD is leaving the area! Go ahead, email her and tell on me! By the time she checks her email I could be all the way to Sheaffer's house, or George and Alan's! If only I could figure out how to get Rafer Johnson out here too! And Salina!

This would make a really fun movie, wouldn't it? Young donkey sets out across the country to find his cyber-friends, followed by his reluctant big brother and fussy mama, the big black mare.


Grey Horse Matters said...

He sounds like a very funny donkey. I'd love a barn cam to see what the donkeys were doing all day. It's amazing how many times they can get loose isn't it. Very smart.
We had the same problem with Dusty last month. We'd put her in the stall in the shed and latch it, in the morning she was roaming around. We made SURE the latch was latched, she just knows how to open it.

billie said...

When I went out this a.m. he was outside the gate again, and I snapped his picture.

I decided to see if he could get back in - and just went to the feed room to prepare breakfast as usual. Salina and Rafer said "see ya, bud" and came up to the barn. In a moment, here came Redford, so he can go in and out, it seems, without trouble.

Donkey proofing is in order this afternoon, and meanwhile they're banned from the big barnyard so I can go to the store. :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh! This so so funny, Billie! Redford is just so darling, too. How could anyone ever be cross with him. hehe!

I would so love it if you had a Live Barn Cam that I could check in throughout the day and watch the antics of your equine family members, especially Rafer and Redford, for they truly are the stars, aren't they? :)

New Mexico

billie said...

I was thinking "cool - a barn cam" - then I realized that would mean I would actually have to DRESS PROPERLY before going out there every morning!

jme said...

that's one clever donkey! the donkey cam would be cool, but i know what you mean about not wanting to be seen doing morning feed! :-\

i used to know a tricky little shetland pony who could crawl on his belly under his electric fence and get out on the xcountry course to graze, and any time someone was riding by, he'd dash back to his paddock, scoot under the fence and stand there with an innocent look on his face like he'd been there all along. but we all knew :-)

billie said...

I was at the barn most of today, so I finally managed to catch him at it. He is, I hope, now contained, although what I've done is temporary.


Our Shetland has made a number of escapes that we've never figured out. He has been found in the neighbors' back yard more than once, in our driveway, in our front yard, and he busts through gates every now and then.

He used to lift them off the hinges and walk them around until we got savvy and turned the hinges upside down. Now he just puts his butt to the gate and exerts about 700 lbs. of pony pressure on the bolt!

That's hilarious about the Shetland running back to appear innocent. LOL. Reminds me of Thelwell cartoons!

Anonymous said...

I love that picture looking through the fence at Redford!

billie said...

Pretty cute, huh? :)