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Friday, April 3, 2015

BRINGING JENNY HOME

jenny

A door and window open all day. First day of the year to leave the door open. Caterpillar came and went at will, no need to ask to have the door opened. Leaving the door open allows chipmunks to come in and explore the barn the giant lives in. I leave them alone. They know where they are and how to find the exit. I jump up alarmed an alien chipmunk is in the house, it gets scared, has to hide, gets lost, doesn't remember the way out, and I have a chipmunk lost in the house. Leave it alone, it explores as far as it dares, a nervous wreck in unknown territory, the giant's home, and it will go out before long. If it returns, I'll clap my hands one time and it will be out the door in a flash. Once their curiosity is satisfied, they don't need to come back, unless they find something good, like dry catfood. I take such good care of them outside with sunflower seeds, they don't need to risk getting caught in the giant's obstacle course. The chipmunks cannot get past the squirrel guards on the bird feeders. I throw seeds on the ground for the chipmunks, squirrels, doves, and the other birds when a squirrel has taken over the feeder, nibbling seeds with tail up its back and a curl at the tip. The squirrels don't run very far when I go out the door. They run in a few strides to a tree trunk to hide on the far side where I can't see. 

jenny

This morning feeding the donkeys with carrots, a squirrel in a nearby tree called to me to remember squirrels are hungry too. It's been a long night. Chickadees and titmice made their clicking sounds from tree branches overhead. I feed the birds after the donkeys. Jack brays when I step out the door and Jenny squeals with her neck over the fence. I sing with Jack. Usually Jenny gets the first carrot because she wants it so much. Jack doesn't care if he's first or second. Jenny cares about being first. Jack, as Alpha, has no need for privileges that go with Alpha status. Jenny's need to be first is part of her personality. I couldn't change it in her if I tried. And there's no reason to change her. Jack is used to it in her and so am I. We both honor her need. Such a small need I see no reason to train her away from so much a part of who she is. For a year or more before she came to me, she was starved unto ribs showing, looking thin and poor. Jenny being so poor suggests to me she was alone without her mother, other donkeys, and was living with a herd of miniature goats. The woman I bought Jenny from said she bought Jenny when she bought the goats. She said Jenny was poor and neglected. Jenny such an intelligent donkey, it must have been a constant torment, her early childhood hungry, confined with little goats. One of them was her friend. Her next year she had good human care, kids to play with her. She lived a good life, fed well, cared for, brought back to good health, loved, She was the big mama donkey in a herd of tiny goats. 

jenny

One day a rumbling bronze pickup drove up pulling a white horse trailer. Three hillbilly men stepped out of the truck. They appeared friendly enough. The humans talked with them, the kids talked with them, men Jenny had never seen. The reception was friendly, so Jenny (then Daisy) felt safe in her pen with the goats at home. Two of the hillbilly men took ahold of her halter, led her to the trailer against her will, men who knew how to handle horses. And nobody came to her rescue. They tried to lead her in. She would not go. They tried this way and that way, pushing her neck and head inside, picking her up by the rump and pushing her in. They closed the gate, she jumped around, got twisted and stuck in the trailer needing to be unstuck by one hillbilly man in front and the other behind, shoving and pulling on her unwilling, powerful donkey body trapped with two strangers overpowering her will. It was the worst day of her life, taken from her goat friend of her early years, the other goats she was the queen of, and the humans that adored her, treated her well with heart affection, gone forever. Sold. I loves you Porgy, don't let em take me, don't let em handle me and drive me mad...I wanna stay here with you forever. I heard Nina Simone sing this song in my head all the way up the mountain on Oklahoma road, the old road that hairpins back and forth uncountable times. I admired Jesse's driving in full respect. He gave Jenny a smooth ride up the mountain, careful not to throw her off balance or surprise her by sudden changes of momentum. 

jenny

In my heart, I thanked Jesse's driving ability all the way to the gate at the road. Jesse and Justin manhandled Jenny the powerful donkey backwards out of the trailer against her will. A man is cautious dealing with the backside of a donkey in an enclosed space. They pulled her out backwards, and Jenny, according to her nature, did not like being overpowered. I stood off to the side and watched. I don't know horses or donkeys, especially do not know how to handle them, to make what I see an autonomous being submit to my will that could kill me in a few seconds if it took a notion. I was impressed by what I saw. They took charge of Jenny and guided her through the gate into the meadow. It was getting dark. Jack was in the meadow the other side of the creek. The two donkeys stood on either side of the creek and squealed at each other, pacing back and forth, looking for a way to cross, both of them frustrated. Jack being tame by then, Justin and Jesse picked Jack up and carried him over the creek. His feet touched the ground and he was on his way to Jenny. She was glad to meet him, but he didn't care about introductions. Later for introductions, baby. First thing, he tried to climb on her back. She kicked him hard and ran, Jack's chin on her rump, both of them ran around in the meadow, galloping, Jenny kicking Jack in the chest, power kicks, every fourth gallop. She kicked him in the neck, in the head, the sides, and she wore out his chest. Jack didn't feel a thing. His mind was focused. They ran until it was so dark we couldn't see anymore. In the morning, Jack looked like he'd gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson. 


jack


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