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Monday, March 31, 2014


jenny turns on jack
Last night I stayed up til after 4, and woke around 9:30. I did not see the donkeys when I looked out the window. They were in the shed staying out of the thirty degree bold wind. I didn't feel like setting self into motion yet. Made some coffee, called Carole and we talked  until we wore out. The donkeys started grazing. I went out and put seed in the bird feeders. Donkeys saw me and both set to braying. Jenny made her loudest attempt yet. She's getting close. I'd waited until about 11. I went to them, gave a chunk of carrot to Jenny first. They were happy with the carrot. It made Jenny jealous when I talked to Jack. She ran him off. I gave them carrot chunks until I ran out. Jack got the last one and it made Jenny mad. She bit at me to show her displeasure. It wasn't a serious attempt, just a showing of the teeth to express her displeasure. It made her so mad she tore into Jack, kicking him, biting at him, running him off again. She kept at him with her ears back. I picked up some hay to take to the meadow. She reached her head across the fence and snatched a bite of some hay, aggressively, with an attitude that said, You piss me off. I stepped into the meadow between them, them prancing around me, Jenny swinging her rear end around on Jack and kicking at him. I went on into the meadow a ways, Jenny beside me. She started getting antsy with me, swung her rear end around, it hopping up and down and she let go a couple kicks in my direction. She got me on the leg a little. Barely a sensation, just enough to say, "I kick you," like her attempt to bite before was saying, "I bite you." I said, "It's on, baby." I dropped the hay and turned on her and gave her a good kick in the rump to say, "I kick you." She jumped a few steps away and looked at me like to say, I didn't know you could kick.
jenny kicks at jack
I have to say that before I put the hay down, I questioned if I really wanted to up the ante and join the kicking fest as a participant. Would I be saying it is ok now to kick me, because I kick too? This was unusual behavior for Jenny. I was two hours late with morning carrots and hay. Both donkeys were so anxious when I went out the door that Jenny came the closest to a full bray she ever has. Her jealousy came forward with conviction around Jack. By now, an hour later, they are munching hay side by side. My learning this morning is to be more consistent in the time I take carrot to them. They come to count on my timing being the same every day when it is the same for months at a time. It wasn't that they had nothing to eat. It was the two hour delay. Stretching their patience made them anxious. I like to believe I am conscious of habits in myself and have them under control. Nonsense. Awareness of habits means I allow them. It doesn't change anything. I know when something happens to bypass a habit, I get odd acting. Like if I don't have my coffee in the morning, I'm anxious, not because I feel like I need the coffee, it's that I skipped a morning habit. It cracked me up to see the look in Jenny's eye after I kicked her. It made Jenny so mad when I gave the last carrot chunk to Jack that she tore into him with serious intent. I had camera in pocket. She spent so much time tormenting Jack that I had plenty of time to take camera from pocket, open camera, push the buttons I have to push to get it ready. I got several pictures of her pushing Jack, biting at him, kicking him, even going after him when he was trying to get away from her. I won't try to train Jenny away from her jealous streak. It's mine to learn to live with it, work around it, not excite it. It was a good learning for me to see why it is important to be consistent with them. I make them dependent on me, so I need to be more conscious of my own training. I have trained them to anticipate carrot and hay at a certain time every morning. It makes them nervous when I go against pattern.   

jenny tells jack to scram

I made the decision to kick Jenny back immediately. I took it as a personal event between us. I wanted to tell her in her language I don't accept being kicked. She didn't really kick me, but it was close enough I wanted her to know I don't appreciate it. On the other hand, I may have been telling her I want to play the kick game now. We'll see. This morning's rampage was such an exceptional circumstance, me late, donkeys anxious. Jenny starts acting up when they get anxious. She's become jealous of me talking to Jack now. I talk to her while she's munching carrot. I turned to Jack to talk to him and Jenny put her ears back, her head down and she lit into Jack, running him off. Just for talking to him. When Jack got the last chunk of carrot, she cut loose. It would have been a good chance to run the video in the camera to get a moving picture of Jenny's antics. I had the chance to see close up what I'd been dreading, a Jenny kick. Her rump was between a foot and two feet from me when she started hopping up an down in back and kicked a couple times. They didn't really connect, though they touched. I know she was not aiming to hurt me. She was having a donkey moment with Jack and I just happened to be there, but she knew what she was doing. And, like I said, they were not real kicks, just gestures. Still, I wanted her to know ice cream man is not going to take her kicks passively. I remembered a few months ago when Justin's neighbor was hit in the head with a golf club by a "friend" while he was at the sink washing some dishes. We asked him what he did about it. He said he didn't do anything. He was several days recovering. Justin said, If somebody hit me with a golf club, I might not be able to get up right away, but when I'm up, he better run. We both lectured him that you don't just let somebody hit you in the head with a golf club. He said he's nonviolent. We laughed. I laughed because I saw myself in another time of my life. Nonviolent is one thing, but taking whatever shit comes your way is quite another. A month or so later he told a little more that was behind it. He'd asked for it. First telling, it came from out of the blue.

jenny's ears all the way back
I don't know that I would have kicked Jenny back a few years ago. It has been recently my favorite color changed to red, and I'm feeling it. I find I have an aggressive attitude I never had before. I've never been of an aggressive mind. I'm finding in this time that I'll stand up to about anybody. This morning's aggression came from knowing I had to do something to let Jenny know my displeasure, in language she could understand a little better than, "Cut that out!" She's quick to tell me her displeasure. Now that we're communicating, I felt it necessary to give her the payback immediately, not wait a minute. Jenny and I are still getting to know each other. I believed it important to tell her what I had to say, "I kick you." They understand symbolic gestures, which is all my kick amounted to. I'll learn soon how Jenny took my gesture. I'm learning Jenny wants focus of attention on herself. Alpha donkey. I'll work with her. I can see when she starts getting anxious while I'm talking to Jack. I'll pay more attention to her jealousy and not provoke it. I continued talking to Jack after she started showing her feelings. That's what provoked her. She's taught me she wants to be first. Now she's telling me she wants to be last too. I'll go easy with her. I know she has a jealous nature, and I know I can't change it in her. I can, however, adjust my behavior to provoke her jealousy as little as possible. Later in the day, an hour or so before dark, I took them a couple of carrots. Jack's face looked like he'd been kicked in the head several times. The whites in his eyes were red. He looked like Mike Tyson. He had a rough day. It arouses Jack when Jenny gets frisky. I went away for the afternoon to watch the race. I imagine Jack spent the day trying to mount Jenny and she kicked him all over the meadow. He doesn't let up when he's aroused. He'll take all the kicking she can give him. I felt a little bit bad being responsible for Jack taking so many head  kicks. We are still learning each other. I will be more mindful of Jenny's jealous nature.

jenny wants a kiss


  1. Jenny reminds me of my oldest daughter, Alex. Universal emotions and impulses in these young women. Thanks for sharing Jenny's smile!

    1. Carol, it's funny how much like us the donkeys are. When my friends talk about their kids going at each other, I say, "They're Donkeys." I often think of the donkeys as kids in the back seat of a car. One of my friends has two 13 yr old girls. He said two weeks out of a month, its crazy in their house.

  2. Wow. This explains a lot about my granddaughters, too! I didn't have girls. It's way better now that the oldest is away at college...she demanded all the attention. It was the who took most of her kicks. I hope Jenny doesn't make a game of it with you.