jenny and jack
Feeling kind of wound up today. Tried to take a nap and it didn't take. Nothing special about the day except it's twenty degrees outside and about a half an hour of freezing rain an hour ago. I'm wondering how the donkeys and the calves are working out the shelter of the donkey den. I've an idea the calves were the first ones in the den and possibly donkeys next. I might be romanticizing. They all might have stood in the raining ice, though I doubt it. My feeling is that in extraordinary circumstances, all four would fit in there more or less comfortably. Like at a watering hole and a bait pile, the animals seem to declare those places safe zones where nobody attacks anybody, except the crocodiles with a brain the size of a pea. Possibly the calves and the donkeys could snuggle in there together for the warmth especially. Every day I'm raking out the night's leavings by the calves. It's not much. It's frozen making it easy to rake. I don't want them having to sleep in a toilet. It's something I can do to make the going a little easier for them. They know each other very well. They share the meadow. Raking out the shed is a good chance to visit with my friends. I see the fur on the donkeys is thicker than not long ago. The calves have thicker fur too. I've seen calves and cows packed into stalls in stockyard situations and they manage to find their own space. On a cold night, I imagine they are making the best of it. I think about going out to take a look with a flashlight, but don't want to disturb them. By now, they're in place and possibly sleeping.
I felt Jack's hoof today. He kicked me thinking he was kicking Jenny. I barely felt it, merely a tap on my right hand. I was a bit surprised, because I didn't believe Jack would kick me. He didn't. I happened to step between them at the same time they swung their ass ends to each other. Each one had a bowl of grain. They get jealous over their grain and the carrots. I thought I had the bowls far enough apart to avoid a kick dance. Another time Jenny was feeling the pocket of my shirt, and bit the flap sticking up from it. I let out a yelp and she pulled her head back. They talk to each other with a grunt kind of sound that says, get back. I've been watching their kicks and they've looked like little more than light jabs, their way of saying, don't get too close. It's only when I take them the grain and carrots, or when it's just me. They both come to me, then they're right there together, each one wanting to be number one, then the dancing starts. Grunts and kicks. I've been thinking if one of them kicked me during one of their kick dances, it probably wouldn't hurt much. It looks like they're fairly lightly touching each other. It's a swift move of the leg, but I'm seeing that the force stops at the time of contact. Jack kicking my hand today gave a measure of what the kick dance is like. I felt like he'd let go of the force of the kick just at contact. And I don't think it was because he recognized at the last split second he was kicking me, not Jenny. It's a light sparring they do. The kicks are not to hurt, just a gesture, speaking without words. Acting out.
I feel more at ease among them now. I'm not so apprehensive about getting kicked. I've seen the subtle control they have with their legs. They know every grade of kick from a tap to sending you over the moon. I've seen Jenny lay into Jack with both back feet making a loud slap on his ribs. He didn't even blink. He took it like a tree. If she'd kicked me like that, I'd have gone flying ten feet and landed on my face in Jack's manure pile . I'm still not certain about Jenny when she turns her back end to me. I step out of the way. I don't move away anymore when Jack turns his rear to me. I've not had a chance yet to know Jenny as well as I know Jack. Jack and I were friends for a few months when he was in the meadow alone. The arrival of Jenny put Jack on another planet for awhile. He is back now. The friendship we had before is still with us. Though it's a new Jack. The Jack I know now is Jack the stallion. Before Jenny, Jack was a boy. Now Jack is a man. Jacques le Baudet. He seems like he is under a bit of horse stress having a woman to keep his eye on. He feels very strongly toward Jenny. It's a domination obsession he has with her. Some days he looks so stressed I think of Mike Tyson's face after years of getting battered by powerful men. I've seen Jack look like he'd been kicked all over the head. He had that dazed kind of look I see in Tyson's eyes. There are times he seems worn out from the stress of dominating Jenny. She's bigger than him, and she's no easy one to kick around. Jack's happy with his woman. And I'm happy with my donkeys. Both are good natured, have intelligent minds, and make good friends.
I feel better for Jack now that he has his partner. Their marriage was arranged by chance. One day Jenny's name was Daisy and she had a happy life living with some goats and some humans that took good care of her. Three humans showed up in a truck and a trailer, wrestled Daisy into the trailer she did not want to go into. She rode up the mountain of endless curves, was released, it almost dark, and this buck donkey was suddenly on her back. She took off running, saying, I don't even know you. Jack right behind her saying, Stand still and you will. She says, What kinda donkey you think I am? Jack says, A babe--I love you baby--be still a minute. They are so Ottoman. They make me think of the pasha, or whatever he's called, reclining on enormous cushions with his belly dancer slave who dances for him and no one else. Treat her man right and he's the best protection she could have. Leo Tolstoy raped his wife on their wedding night and freaked her out about sex with him the rest of their lives. Jack has taken Jenny for his own. She goes along because he can break her down if she declines his attention. This is neither matriarchal nor patriarchal what they're doing. It is pre human by a long stretch of evolution. They are not that far away in consciousness. The consciousness of humans is only one great leap in consciousness from the four-leggeds. That's our fore-brain, our blessing and curse in one department of the brain's evolution. Put verbal language aside and they are right here with us. They have a complex language of reading eyes, body language, even grunts and other vocal utterances, and telepathy that we've lost the ability to pay attention to and have to relearn it. I like to make contact with a consciousness the other side of the forebrain divide. I don't think they are like us as much as we are like them. I don't mean details of behavior, because that is species specific, but the consciousness that transcends biology.