Saturday, July 04, 2009

a preview for a party yet to come

This was a post from August 2007, when we had just met Rafer Johnson and were eagerly awaiting the day he could come join our family.

In a couple of weeks he will be two years old, and I've been thinking about how much joy he has brought to November Hill, as well as how much we've learned from him about donkeys and patience and healing. And grace.

His mother, Contessa, still reminds me of Salina, and I wonder if Rafer feels that too.

I have called him a being of light, which he is, and he is also an independent donkey who will take himself a break from the herd when he wants one, happily hiding behind the round bale for a private snack while Salina and Redford call to him to come back.

If you look into his little donkey eyes in the pictures below, you see the very same look we see today. He has a gaze that could melt granite, or iron.

How did we ever live without the donkeys?

His name is Rafer Johnson and he is coming to live with us in the new year, after he weans from his mom, Contessa.

It is just not possible to describe how cute and sweet he is. He's very good at conveying that himself!


the7msn said...

Our lives are so much richer because of our donkeys. Remembering back to those days when Rafer broke his leg...still makes me shudder. What a happy ending to that episode. Looking forward to the birthday party...will it be a gala a la Shaeffer's?

Grey Horse Matters said...

He does have beautiful expressive eyes. The windows to his soul show a sweet and thoughtful guy.
Happy Birthday to a very special little man.

billie said...

Linda, not sure how much of a gala we can pull off considering we're in high heat of summer here, but we will have a party with some special treats and there will be extra hugs all around.

If you were closer you could bring all your equine boys. Somehow I suspect all four of them would fit right in with this crew. :)

billie said...

Thanks, Arlene. He is indeed.

Janet Roper said...

Ah, what joy!
Everytime I read about donkeys, I keep thinking Shiloh needs one......

Strawberry Lane said...

Ohhhhhh.... how precious! Just about the sweetest little guy I've seen. Happy 2 years old to Rafer!

Thanks for your note regarding Royal and the vaccine. It adds to my confidence that I'm making the right decision to skip it. Thanks, also, for referring me to Eleanor Kellon.

billie said...

Janet, I'm sure Shiloh will make his needs quite clear when he's ready for the donkey pal... :)

billie said...

Strawberry Lane, if you decide to consult with Dr. Kellon or take some of her classes, I think you'll get a lot of good info that you'll put immediately to use.

We have a pony who has intense reactions to most vaccines, and even though we already give one at a time, and have opted out of the twice a year protocol as well as flu/rhino and strangles, each spring and fall I read up again, look at each horse and what's going on with him/her, and make the decision anew.

I'm very close to looking at stopping altogether for Salina, who is 26 years old and probably doesn't need the stress to her system.

Thanks for the kind words about Rafer Johnson. We said he was the cutest thing ever and then Redford joined us - basically we're (all of us, I think, who live with horses and donkeys and dogs and cats and birds, et al) living in an embarrassment of cuteness and richness.

ponymaid said...

Billie, the truly great among us are alwsy recognizable at an early age. Rafer is a philosopher donkey and possibly the reincarnation of one of the ancient Greek thinkers.

billie said...

Aha - I knew there was a connection! I suspect both you and Rafer Johnson spent hours conversing on the steps of the Parthenon in earlier lives.