Donkeys were domesticated long before the horse. Do you know why? I have read many explanations but I would summarize what I have read by saying, it is because they are more hard wired to interaction with humans. I think it's because they have a sense of humor and like to hang out close to the human beasts who are more than a little interesting.
In the wild, donkeys keep on the move but have a home territory like many other animals. They fall victim to canine and feline predators and do not have a fast get away. Not to say that they cannot haul some *ss when necessary but......they are not very fast in the scheme of the animal kingdom. Domesticated donkey do not loose that natural instinct with canines and many do not tolerate dogs well. But there are always exceptions to the rule.
|nope not quite this old. But don't you just love how sweet this is?|
He had wandered into the recinto (compound) of the rancho and just hung around with a old billy goat, 2 orphan lambs and the yard and barn cats. My grandfather, as gruff as he was to humans, was a softy for animals. He made a special blanket saddle for the grandchildren to use to ride Feo.
My grandfathers lap cat was one of the most spoiled animals I had ever known. All white, long luxurious hair and Aldofo would sit and wait for Papi all day in the rocking chair they shared at night. When he went out to inspect the porch, the other cats gave him a wide berth. He was something to behold. There were lots of white kittens at the ranch because he was "el jefe gato", boss cat.
Anyway back to Feo. He probably was turned out by his owners when they couldn't feed him anymore. Feo, not being a stupid animal, because donkeys are very bright, made his way to the compound where apples, hay, grass and water were plentiful. The younger cousins, who lived on the ranch found him to be a fun playmate and Feo was very affectionate and patient. So when I, the city cousin, visited I was introduced to this lovely little burrito and instantly fell in love. We became fast friends.
I would brush him, rub his ears and sing to him. He would quiver and nuzzle. It was a mutual admiration society. Most all of my time at the rancho for the next 3 summers was spent with the donkey. I learned to be still and let him show me what he wanted. He learned to be patient with a city kid who didn't know the ways of the natural world. By the time I was 7 I was riding him alone, everywhere.
When my cousin got it into his head that he was going to be a rodeo cowboy, I saw first hand how awful it was when a donkey is roped and injured. Stupid boy eventually maimed the donkey and my grandfather could not let him suffer and so put him down. I never did "cotton to my cousin" for that reason alone. So if you ever wonder why I am so against donkey roping it is because I witnessed cruelty and human stupidity as a child. I will never forget Feo and how beautiful, wonderful, soft and gentle he was when given a chance. And how docile he was to the cruelty he had to endure.
And most especially when I hear other donkeys bray, I hear Feo singing his donkey song and I always will.
|Ellsworth and GK just enjoying each other|
If you have never been around a donkey, take the opportunity. During these crushing lack of resources time, many folks are having to let their animals go because they can't afford to feed them. There are so many worthwhile donkey rescues all over the world that could use your help to rescue, foster and rehome donkeys.
Happy World Donkey Day.
***my chosen rescue is Lavender Dream Farms and Donkey Rescue. They just added two more beauties to their donkey group.
Notice too please that I can reply to you now right here on the blog. And I shall.