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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THANKFUL FOR DONKEYS

jenny sez gimme carrot

jenny sez thank you

This time to think thankful brings forward the obvious, the first thing to come to mind. As I look at one, another comes to mind and another. I look at one of them and others pop up. It gets so complicated I don't know where to start or even what to say, except to make a list. Not going to write a list. Caterpillar comes to mind first, every time I look at the question. Jack and Jenny are up front, necks stretched over the fence, reaching with dexterous donkey lips for a chunk of carrot. Jenny says, Write about me, write about me. To Jenny I say, Easily done, beautiful Jen. Jenny is a fascinating donkey. She has charisma. She's aware of herself as a presence. She has a powerful ego, jealousy a strong characteristic. She wants to be first, even when she's not Alpha. I'm not saying she's an evil woman; she's far from it. These are characteristics we see in children and deny in ourselves. But the ones we live with know. Jack found the way to get along with Jenny's jealous nature. He just steps around her and stays out of range. He lets her have her way. Jack is not pushy with his personality. Jenny wants the sweet grain first, will have it first, while Jack moans, sounding like he's about to break into tears waiting for his. If I give it to Jack first, Jenny runs him off. They have separate eating places for the grain and hay, as well as carrot. I give Jack carrot first to honor his Alpha role and to reward his braying. Jenny's neck is over the fence, head extended all the way, reaching with her lips like she'd been waiting all night for carrot. She's expressive. You see her feelings in her actions and sometimes her eyes. Jack doesn't show his feelings or what he's thinking. He's self-contained. I know him well enough I can see his feelings sometimes. I see it in his eyes. He shows his feeling very well clamping down on the back of Jenny's neck with his vice-grip jaws.

jack brays

Their sorrow from losing the baby has faded. They are working so hard at "trying to make a baby," they are both single-minded. Jenny is just as worked up as Jack is. Jack is so much in love with Jenny, it is visible to the human. He wants to be with her all the time. He looks at her with a loving eye. She looks at him with the same eye. Their focus of attention is on each other all the time. Jenny did not like me touching her for quite a long time. Times I would give Jack a good rubbing on his back, neck and legs, Jenny watched closely. She then wanted me to pet her too. By now, we are so comfortable together she doesn't feel defensive. She's still somewhat skittish, but that's just their nature, constantly alert to the split-second. They live in the present. The day and night we cried together, Jenny let me hold her with my arms around her neck as long as I wanted to. It's not something she takes to readily. Jack likes for me to hug his neck. Jack is a comic. He likes to laugh. I learned his sense of humor before Jenny entered the meadow. It took a long time to bond with Jenny. She was so distracted by Jack in their getting acquainted time, I stayed this side of the fence. She was in grief from losing her friends she'd lived with before, and she had this jackass to contend with who was too happy to have her in his meadow, he couldn't help but want to show her his gratitude. She settled down when she fell in love. Six months of living with Jack, she was in love. He was in love the moment they met. Jenny took the Alpha role for herself in self-defense, and she was the biggest. Jack is quite a lot smaller than Jenny, which made conquering her a serious conquest. In the first few months I was feeling sad for Jack that I'd brought him a woman who could kick his ass. It was no problem for Jack.

jack munches morning hay

Jenny emerged first from the donkey den when I went out with carrots. She put her head through the gap between the gate and the post like she rarely does. She was hungry. Snow on everything, they could not go in search of something edible left in the meadow. Had to wait for Ice Cream man to take his time going out into the snow to deliver their hay, carrot first. They've eaten carrot every day they've lived here. It's the first thing we do every morning, unless it's raining hard. Snow doesn't stop us. Jenny was funny this morning sticking her neck through the gate gap and sticking her head straight out, Me first, while Jack brayed. Sometimes she's like a child that had no training. Donkeys don't know about Ms Manners. They do what works. I feel like they communicate so well without language, I doubt they feel like they're missing anything. They understand their names and the words and phrases I repeat to them every day. They surely think Ice Cream man has some magic vocal powers. Not only does he keep his balance easily on his back feet, he can hold things with is front feet. And when the coyotes come marauding in the night, Ice Cream man hollers GIT in his magical language and the coyotes go away. Every time I go to the door to yell at the coyotes, they quit. I wonder every time at how marvelous the donkeys must think that is, to have a magic sound that scatters coyotes. We humans are such a mystery to them, I am curious about how they think about us. First thing I know is it's now how we might think. I don't know how they think, though I suspect to our way of seeing, it would be something we'd call a dream reality. living fully in the subconscious, the super-conscious. They don't have monkey-mind forebrain. Therefore, the present is the only time they know.

jenny munches morning hay

Recalling a time I had chickens. Someone visiting from the city told me chickens are stupid. I took it for such a ridiculous statement I couldn't respond. I didn't attempt to explain they have all the intelligence they need, aware that city-dude had the span of attention of a cat and wouldn't hear anything beyond the first phrase. Already, I have enough insight into a donkey's intelligence that it pains me now to hear somebody ignorant called a jackass. In the popular belief system donkeys have no intelligence. I grew up believing a lot of nonsense adults told me. I know better than to go back. I know donkeys to have at least the intelligence of the smartest dog. I just live my life knowing what I know about donkeys and let other people believe as they will. Because they will. I am neither a commercial nor a missionary. As with politics now, I've withdrawn my interest from a popular police state. Other people want to believe what they want to believe, it's ok by me, just leave me out of it. I like my world here with donkeys and a cat, good reading, good films, good music, good car, good laptop. Maybe I live too much in my mind, but thanks to grace, I have peace in my mind and don't want it cluttered by people that hate in the name of Jesus, and the white men everywhere with Limbaugh rants of hatred in their minds. The whole world of the media is false. I don't like that world of fascists vs liberals. Is this what happened after learning history became irrelevant since the Sixties? Now that learning, itself, has been irrelevant for several decades, our political representatives, who only represent us by being self-centered like the rest of us: all for me, forget everybody else. They represent the worst in us. It's not my way, so I withdraw my attention and turn it to everything and everybody I'm thankful for, letting the rest of it go.

jenny feels the snow with her neck


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1 comment:

  1. Good Morning TJ and Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for continuing to share your world with us. Love the pics of Jack and Jenny - hard to believe it's snowing already. I hope you stay warm and I look forward to reading more soon.

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