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Sunday, October 20, 2013

THE DAY THE PETTING ZOO TURNED PRIMAL




 jenny kisses april
 
 
Pictured is my friend April Holcomb Joines kissing my ass. Ever since she heard I had an ass, she has been after me to let her kiss it. I said, Come on, you don't need an appointment. Here she is with Jenny, planting a good one on Jenny's nose. Jenny likes getting face to face with a human making eye contact up close. Jenny likes for me to very lightly rub the whiskers of my chin and upper lip on her soft, sensitive nose, muzzle, whatever it's called. She likes to feel the whiskers, once, out of curiosity. After one time, her curiosity is satisfied. Like here with April, Jenny is curious about April touching her nose with her lips. For donkey, it was an interesting exchange with a human. I've found that donkeys like interactions with humans. They find us more interesting than we find them. I'm noticing, too, that donkeys frequently touch each other, bump, rub, know each other very well physically, weight especially. Sometimes I'll stand beside Jack and bump him with my hip, the way dogs bump each other, to give him a feel for my weight. I'll put my arms around his neck from his shoulder to give him the feel of my arms. Not controlling. Arms are especially curious to him. We don't use our front feet for walking. Until Jack learned that human arms move unpredictably, he would jump when I made a quick arm movement.
 
 
jenny enjoys april's and cindy's attention
 
Jenny doesn't like to be touched. She will get face to face, likes having her head and neck scratched around the ears. From the shoulder back, leave her alone. I touched one of her legs and she jerked it back. I can honor that. That's just Jenny's personality. It will be a little while teaching her that she can depend on my hands not to hurt her. Being touched at all goes entirely against their four-legged nature. We teach our kittens and puppies to like petting. Otherwise, they'd prefer we not touch them. I respect Jenny's apprehension about being touched beyond her neck. For one thing, she has this sex-crazed jackass chasing her with a foot long dong dangling, determined to rape her if she'll just stand still a minute and quit kicking him. She's involved in mind games with a jackass, really tired of him trying to jump on her every moment she's not watching him. I can't have an undistracted eye-to-eye getting acquainted time with Jenny like before with Jack. While I'm giving Jenny a carrot or just talking to her, rubbing her forehead, she is aware of Jack nearby, ready to kick if he gets too close. Jenny has a little bit wilder spirit than Jack. She stands tall, neck up, ears straight up. Perky. It might be her apprehension in her new home where nothing is familiar. About twenty minutes ago, I had to go out the front door and yell loud as I could in my role as the big bad giant that lives in the house among the trees. Coyotes were probably not a hundred feet from the house taunting the calf. I have tried clanging metal, but a big bass human roar does it faster. They really respond to GIT yelled in a monster roar.
 
 
andrea with a treat for jack
 
The donkeys are here to keep coyotes out of the meadow. Nonetheless, the donkeys are pre-occupied with their focus on each other, both in a world they don't understand yet. This is the first time coyotes have been here since Jenny's arrival. Tonight they were all around the house. I hesitated to take more than one step beyond the door. I hate it for the calf to be surrounded by those demons wanting to kill it, yipping and yelling in their shrill eardrum-piercing shrieks. The donkeys were probably at the other end of the meadow. The coyotes know where to find the calf at night. It stays among the tall ironweed and goldenrod in a small section by the creek too soggy to bush-hog. Plenty of grass grows in there. She beds there for protection. This side of the creek has no good protection from a coyote attack. The other side has great protection from coyotes, but neither donkeys nor calf will cross the creek. The meadow is in such emotional chaos right now, all I know to do is let it run its course, let the process of equine getting-to-know-you play out, observe it, be fascinated by it, learn much from it, be in awe of it. Marsha Wagoner gives me good tips on equine behavior. I like her understanding of them, it's empathetic, she's a friend with her horses. I want to be a friend with my donkeys they can trust absolutely. I want them to know that when I take people into the meadow to see them we're all friendly.
 
petting zoo day for jack and jenny
 
I was glad to see April. Hadn't seen her in several years. She is a lover of the four-leggeds, the helpless, the poor. She has a fascination for serpents that she understands after a lifetime of interest in them. It doesn't trip my trigger at all to have a snake crawling on me, but I understand she likes them. If I knew them as well as she knows them, I'd probably like them crawling on me too. It's what I've appreciated about April all the years I've known her, her way of following her own interest whether anybody around her likes it or not. She has a beautifully realized feminine spirit. A woman who runs with the wolves. Cindy and Andrea are also women who run with the wolves, each in her own way. It's why they're drawn to each other. It's why they wanted to interact with the donkeys. They know a person is inside each of the donkey bodies. Cindy keeps parrots. Andrea loves a chance to interact with a four-legged, a winged, she loves them all. These are people who respect the world outside the human rat-race track where the money game goes round and round. They're a little bit country and a little bit soul. All have lives full of issues. They got together for a Saturday afternoon to ride around, be together, drop in at Allan and Gary's stain glass exhibition on Studio Hop weekend, stop and see TJ's donkeys, have a relaxed day of it, trouble free. And don't get donkey kicked.
 
jack chases jenny, his ears up, her ears down
 
Jenny went off to herself a moment. We saw her raise her tail. She peed and walked away. Jack predictably stepped over to sniff the pee. He sniffed and sniffed. That lip curled up and his face wrenched up like he was tasting raw mustard the first time, and we all knew it was on. Jack took off after Jenny. She popped him in the chest with her powerful back feet, over and over, Jack right behind, chin high, as much out of range of kicking as he could get it. I heard her connect one on his chin that got his attention for a split second. He stayed right behind her, his dinger almost dragging the ground, him almost making it onto her back a few times, but never successfully. He pushed himself up beside her and took the nape of her neck in his teeth to subdue her. She conceded to his control. They walked around and around in a circle, like in a circus ring, Jack's jaws clamped down on the back of her neck, Jenny with her ears laid back allowing him control. He had to have something of a vice-grip hold on her to control her weight and her resistance as firmly as he did. It looked like a National Geographic video live in my back yard. The Wild African Ass. Jack would let go and make another attempt at her from behind, but she kicked and kicked, them running around in the field. He bit her neck again and took her under his control. Marsha told me Jack would assert himself soon. We laughed like children seeing the donkeys perform their most primal pre-human love dance. I suddenly realized my buddy Donkey Jack turns out to be a stallion.
 



jack takes the fight out of jenny
 
 
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