It's a foot of snow outside. Walking in it, it doesn't feel like it's an inch deep. The snow is dry and powdery. It offers no resistance. It's a beautiful, pure snow. I don't go out in it except to feed the donkeys and the birds. The snow was not the problem outdoors. It's the cold that bites. I button my jacket at the neck and still the snow finds a way to crawl down the back of my neck. My first impulse seeing the icicles over Jenny's eyes was to break them off, but I knew she would not like me reaching my hand toward her eye. She wouldn't like that at all. She didn't seem to be bothered by them, so I left them alone. We humans are fussy. The animals are not. I didn't get the impression that Jenny minded having a minor glacier between her eyes. I took hay to them twice. Didn't want the portion they couldn't eat right away to be snowed on all day. Took more carrots to Jenny the second time. She's become so jealous of the carrots that she pushes Jack away from me and the calf knows by now to stay away from Jenny at carrot time. I don't know what to do to teach her sharing, so I don't do anything. It's their natures that they understand better than I do. I don't want to train them to human ways of thinking. So Jenny has become the carrot hog. I make it a point to hand carrot to Jack over to the side away from Jenny. I throw one to the calf, but today with a foot of snow, the carrot would have gone to the bottom of the snow and the calf would not have found it. Jenny's mood this morning was gentle. I had the feeling she was too cold to act up. Jack was the usual Jack. He's easy going with reggae playing in ear plugs, going along with few necessities, a good-natured donkey all the time. Jack's humility is remarkable.
I took camera on the afternoon feeding run and walked around behind the house to get some pictures of the creek that runs through here, Spring Lizard Creek, with the rocks in it piled high with snow. In front around the birdfeeders, snowbirds were hopping about looking for something to eat. I took two big paper cups of sunflower seeds and threw one in the direction of one birdfeeder and the other at the other feeder. Thirty or so snowbirds were out there. The birdfeeder serves one at a time. On days like today when the birds are desperately hungry, I spread the seeds over the ground so they can all eat at once. The birds, too, have their comical interactive behavior. Jack had been having a drink of water when I went out this morning. It was one of those moments that I regretted not having the camera set on video and ready. He came running and the snow flying in small clouds from his hooves, and him braying. He was on me before I could even lift the camera to start pushing buttons. I let the thinking about the camera go, and watched him bray while he ran in the snow. It was too beautiful not to watch. He came up to me braying, his pink tongue flat in his mouth. Jenny let out some squeals meant to be brays. I don't think Jenny gets it yet that a bray takes a full physical commitment. It's not just mouth and throat. It is the whole body. Jack looks like he's in a trance when he brays. He has to twist is neck just right. Once the bray starts, it's like it takes a life of its own and won't set him free until he sang every verse. She'll figure it out. I'm more convinced daily that Jenny is pregnant. The baby already has its name, Sherpa. Jenny keeps her ears back while she's eating, very jealous about her food. But that's only at the beginning. Later, after everybody's hunger from the night is satisfied and they're munching because that's what they do, Jenny shows no jealousy.
jenny, calf and jack
Jack has his ears back in this picture, though it's because the calf's head and ears are so close he doesn't want them touching. Jenny's left ear she holds back tight to keep from connecting with the calf's ear, again, not wanting to touch. I see more and more subtle behavior the closer I study donkeys. I mourn for all the donkeys down through time that have been hit and yelled at because humans didn't have what it took to notice they are sentient beings. I'm sure, however, that many people who dealt with donkeys learned their ways and appreciated them. Not all men are cement heads, but enough are that a cement headed nature appears to be a side-effect of testosterone poisoning. It pains me to see guys of my generation become cement heads in their later years. I've felt the cultural tug to go that direction, but refuse to go. I will not do that. It's my inspiration for going to rock concerts in my later years and mixing with hundreds of "the kids these days," to keep myself reminded that old-man thinking is bullshit. It's cultural. It's not natural. Like racism, it's learned. I stay out of that mind. Its easy to generalize about the kids these days; television, computers, cell phones, facebook, twitter, google. Seen from the inside, it's quite another story. I know several kids these days. A couple of them got PhDs from Berkeley. I couldn't even fantasize being accepted at Berkeley. And one of them I've known since she was a baby. The kids these days I know, a fairly random sampling, are brilliant people, conscientious people, given a few exceptions. Also, none of the kids these days I know suffer from Affluenza. They're only different from the kids of my days because the culture today is different from what it was then. School isn't much different, but everything else is. Our politicians don't support education because an educated public costs more to manipulate. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina relies on ignorance. He's not going to do anything for education, like the other remote-control robots.
frosty donkey jack
A Rolling Stones song is in my head, Beast of Burden. I took a break and went to YouTube to review the words. They're funny. It is Jack's song to Jenny. He's had enough, and he is spilling to her his issues; Am I not hard enough, am I not tough enough, am I not rich enough? In the song, he's frustrated because nothing he does can please his woman. Mick Jagger writes a song of simple lyrics, though they have their something special that makes them Rolling Stones songs. Beast of Burden is simple, simple lyrics, but they tell a living story. Tumbling Dice, Brown Sugar, Wild Horses. Jack is Jenny's beast of burden. I'd better not tell him. He knows it too well. I suppose this is Jack's fate to have a woman he can never be good enough for. I don't believe it will always be that way. She keeps her ears back much of the time when he's nearby. It's her body language for, Don't do what you're thinking. Jack says, What am I thinking? I didn't think nothin Baby. Jenny says, I know you better than you think I do. Jack, at the same time, is Mr Cool. He knows he's Mr Cool and it doesn't rock his self-esteem at all that Jenny doesn't get it. He'd just like her to settle down and let him hump her all the time. Since she won't let him do that, he hangs around close enough to smell her. She likes having him around, though it would be better if he could let her rest. Yet, she likes the attention. Over a period of time they'll fall in tune with each other's rhythms and flow together. She would not be his pick, and he would not be her pick. But they're beasts of burden. They're subject to the luck of the draw. Seems like they're flowing together very well by now. Jack is not as demanding as he once was, and Jenny is not as aloof to him now as she used to be. Where one is, the other is close by.