Thursday, April 30, 2009

donkeys gone wild

Yesterday afternoon I was in the small barnyard giving the Big Bay a bath. I had the barn doors closed so the donkeys and Salina were in the barn aisle with access to one stall and the big barnyard, which is their usual hang-out at that time of day during this time of year.

Cody and the pony were in the bare paddock, with access to their stalls and the back field. The sun was shining, the afternoon was quiet, and all was peaceful. I scrubbed the Big Bay with a soapy sponge, thinking how nice it was to be out there with all the animals surrounding me. What a peaceful scene! Everyone was right where they were supposed to be. Or so I thought.

My daughter came out from the house and then she came running through the barn exclaiming, "Redford just galloped out of the barn with a lead rope in his mouth!"

I laughed and told her to go get a picture. A few minutes later she came back. "The donkeys are gone!"

I had just finished rinsing Keil Bay, so I scraped him down and went to help her find them. Salina was walking around the big barnyard calling madly to her donkey boys. They weren't answering.

My daughter had gone down through the gate to the front, thinking they might have gone through the stile.

I walked to the arena, and as I looked for them, noticed the gate to the labyrinth path was open. Husband must have left it when he took wheelbarrows down!

I called to my daughter and we went down the path. Along the way we found the green lead rope, stretched out at full length as though Redford had dropped it in full gallop and it had fallen as he ran.

We went all the way down, and there in the midst of the extravagantly green and tall grass that is now taking over the labyrinth area, were two donkeys. Those long ears were the first thing I saw.

They both looked at me, alert, and for a split-second I thought they might run to get away - but they didn't. Rafer started walking toward me, and Redford followed. I gave them a rub and directed Rafer to head back up the path.

"Your mama is calling," I told him. "Head back to the barn."

He did, but Redford decided he wasn't done exploring. Daughter had to head him off and get him back on the path. Then Rafer helped out and herded Redford up the hill, keeping him on the straight and narrow.

They started running.

Up top, when they saw Salina waiting, they slowed to a walk and got in a proper donkey line. You have never seen anything so cute. Rafer Johnson in front, followed by Redford, a slow walk like two kids who got caught in the cookie jar, walking toward the mama who was going to give them a lecture. Ears were sideways, heads hung just a little. Of course Salina was so glad to see them no lecture happened, at least not that I could hear!

By the time we got back, Keil Bay had rolled, Cody was hanging his head over the gate asking for his own bath, and the pony was standing at the paddock fence looking totally disgusted. You could see exactly what he was thinking. "If that had been ME, I'd be walking around on a lead line right now, yielding this way and that. Those donkeys get away with EVERYthing!"


the7msn said...

Indeed they do get away with everything! And we wouldn't have it any other way. Great story.

billie said...

I definitely had the image of Redford deciding he was going to take Rafer Johnson in hand with that lead rope. They are SO funny.

The geldings look on in a sort of wonderment. Salina just tries to keep them in line!

ponymaid said...

Billie, Redford signaled his intentions very clearly by taking a lead rope - he wanted to take himself for a walk. Redford was along to supervise the younger brother. I feel safe in promising you more episodes of donkey wanderlust in the near future. Tell Salina not to worry, we always come home eventually, though reluctantly.

billie said...

Sheaffer, they do seem to have a desire to explore! Salina doesn't like it, but I suppose she will adjust.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Great story. Those two adventurers are so adorable. I feel sorry for Salina, the poor girl wondering where her babies have got to. And I can just see how the rest of the herd think those two never get in trouble for anything.What a fun bunch you have.

billie said...

Arlene, I was worried Salina might try to go down and find them. The hill back there is a bit too much for her, imo, but I know she'd do it if she had to.

For the most part, one of the donkeys stays with her, but these little adventures they take together definitely keep her in "mama" mode.

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - I've been writing all week, so I haven't allowed myself any visits to my blog pals. It's been a delight this morning catching up with the activities at November Hill. I love the donkeys in the trailer and your duaghter's insights at the horse show and Keil Bay having a siesta on hot days and Salina fretting about her boys - makes me wish I could hop in the car and come down for your workshop. But alas, I'm fully engulfed with my own Spring adventures. At least I get to enjoy reading about yours.

billie said...

Thanks, Victoria, hope yours are fun adventures!!