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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DONKEY JENNY'S HANDS-ON DAY

 
zola and daisy (jenny)
 

Today was Jenny's reunion with her human friend before me, Zola Weatherman, from below the mountain around Traphill. I'd been wanting to get in touch with her for several months. Jenny has been with me seven months. Her grief passed after six months, just like in a human. I saw Jenny's sorrow the first several months was deep. As soon as Jenny's grief passed, after six months of living with Donkey Jack, she fell in love and gave Jack her Alpha status. I did not see that coming. Only because I don't know donkeys well enough yet. It was Justin who contacted Zola by cell phone from an internet ad selling a Bethlehem Cross donkey. I never thought to get name and address when we picked up the donkey. I tend not to think about the future. It never entered my mind. A time came I wanted to get in touch with Zola to tell her Jenny is happy in her new home, assuming she wanted to know, because I would. I asked Justin if he still had the number in his cell phone. He looked and couldn't find it. No. Time went by and Jenny fell in love with Jack. I've wanted to tell Zola about Jenny especially after she fell in love. Talked to Justin Saturday morning and asked him if he remembered how to find the house. No. However, he found the number in his cell phone under DONKEY. I called the number and left my number on an answering machine. Zola called back in just a few minutes. We talked for two animated hours about one donkey, Jenny, known to Zola as Daisy. Zola was a little shy of calling her Daisy after learning I'd named her Jenny. I told Zola to call her Daisy. That's how they know each other. I'll call her Jenny and Zola can call her Daisy. It doesn't confuse donkey at all.
 
zola's husband billy with zola and daisy (jenny) 

It was another good learning day for me in my quest to understand donkey nature. I saw Jenny in my mind's eye happy out of her mind to see Zola, kicking Jack to stay away, squealing and melting. This tells you I do not know donkey. I took Zola and Billy through the gate into the meadow. Donkeys saw us and came walking to see the day's visitors at TJ's petting zoo. Carrots and pictures taken, touching and sweet-talk. I took camera out of my pocket thinking I might want to make video of Jenny's antics when she discovers it is Zola. Zola spoke to her, calling her Daisy, touched her neck, Jenny smelled her and turned her head away from Zola. Zola said, She's mad at me. Jenny would not look at her for a while until Zola stayed with her talking, scratching her in the places she likes on the neck, forehead, down the center of her back. Zola noted to me they can't reach their spine with their teeth when they have an itch there. Jenny settled into her spine being rubbed, but still acted like she didn't know Zola. Zola said, This is the poutinest donkey. She can pout. Billy said, She'll sulk up on you and you can't do nothin with her. Jenny continued to act like she didn't want to look at Zola. Zola showed me the spots where Jenny especially likes to be scratched. Jenny relaxed into Daisy with Zola staying with her, talking to her, petting her, scratching her. Zola won her over. Jenny stopped pouting and gave herself to enjoying the scratching. Her lips would quiver. She'd lower her head and wobble it back and forth. I felt in the beginning that Jenny remembered the pain of loss and was saying to Zola, You abandoned me. We were friends. I loved you. You told me you loved me. I thought I'd never see you again. Zola knew that's what she was saying too. It was a bit of a sad moment for us, seeing how deeply Jenny had been hurt. I recalled a time I was talking with Jenny and said, I'm glad I bought you. A gloom came over her like a dark cloud passing above. It was one of the many times I've seen the donkeys know the meanings in my words. I realized she knew what had transpired. Our words make pictures in our minds and the telepathic animals read the pictures. They think in pictures too.
 

jenny says, I'm mad at you
 
 
Gradually, Jenny responded to Zola like she was her friend. The picture at the top was made after Zola broke through with her. I saw a sorrow in Jenny's eye when her affection rose to the surface. She spent six months in grief over losing Zola. I told Zola I stayed out of the meadow the first month she was here. Jenny would start a kicking match whenever Jack came too close to her. When I'm in the meadow, they both come to me, one on either side. In Jenny's first six months I stayed out from between them. I'd step over to a tree when they started kicking. I had intended to keep Jack distracted and away from Jenny so Jenny could focus her attention on Zola. Jack had to be nearby. He knew something was going on that had Jenny feeling ill at ease. He sniffed Zola's shoes and Billy's shoes. Goat scent from their herd of miniature goats. Jenny sniffed at Zola's shoes. We wondered if she remembered the goat scent from her life with the miniature goats. Of course she did. For Jack, it would have been a new scent, unless he knew goats before he came to live in the meadow. Jack and I had bonded by the time Jenny arrived in the meadow. Jack didn't have time for me. He had a one-track mind and it was not my track. Jack and I renewed our friendship after a few months when Jenny settled down and he had learned his limits with her. She was a fierce fighter. It took him six months to learn to bring her down at will. It seemed like she fell in love when he conquered her. It was the time her grief had passed. By now, a month after their vows, I have bonded with Jenny. I can't tell if it was good for Jenny to bring up her friend who was, in effect, dead and buried in the ground. To bring Zola back to life for Jenny after she had grieved Zola in grief's full term, after she'd bonded with a new friend, did not seem like it was to Jenny's benefit. Nonetheless, some affection was renewed before the end of the visit.
 
zola reminds jenny of her back rubs
 

 
It was a bittersweet feeling I had for Jenny. It brought up so much sorrow for her that she'd already dealt with and was in her past, I felt sad for her having to go through such an emotional upheaval. Yet, Zola kept her hands on Jenny, talked to her lovingly. She responded to Zola's hands a little bit more as time went by, until Zola had relaxed her with memories of Zola's hands. Though I felt sorrow for Jenny, I don't regret bringing Zola back into her life. Zola will return. She wants to bring her two granddaughters Jenny loved and misses. The granddaughters explain why Jenny takes to young girls so readily. Zola explains why Jenny is so partial to women who visit her. Jenny is not so drawn to men or boys. It may have something to do with the men muscling her into the trailer to bring her up the mountain and put her in a fenced-in field with a serial rapist to be his concubine like in old China. Jenny said, Hell no, I aint nobody's whore, least of all for this little runt of a jackass that keeps climbing on my back. She was slow to take to me. I was in no hurry. I know the path of gentleness in training animals takes longer than hitting and threatening. By knowing animals fairly well, I knew that showing them they could trust me to where it becomes the rule without exception, slowly they would learn to trust me. Trust takes time, both ways. I give them sweet grain sometimes and carrots every day. I'm the ice cream man. They trust me. I have learned to trust them. I was happy to see today that both Billy and Zola were safe standing directly behind either one of the donkeys. They can be trusted so close to absolutely I have full trust neither one will kick me. I've believed training them that I can be trusted and the people I bring to the meadow to visit them can be trusted has eased away their feelings of defensiveness around humans they don't know. I tell everybody I take into the meadow I don't believe they'll be kicked, but am not one hundred percent certain. The donkeys have never even shown the first impulse to kick anyone I've taken into the meadow. This did not come about by hitting and threatening them. It came about by loving them. I love them: they love me. Friends I take to see the donkeys send them love vibrations and the donkeys return the vibration. I tell anyone I think might be inclined to hit one that you start a fight with a donkey, you lose. I like walking freely among them in the meadow without any apprehension of danger. At the end of today's visit, Zola told Jenny it was time for her to go, that she would be back to see her. Jenny walked back to the meadow, Jack not far behind.
 
jenny walks back to the meadow
 
jack not far behind
 
 
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