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Saturday, August 15, 2015

MORNING WALK WITH THE DONKEYS

donkey jack and his shadow

A phone call at 11 last night asking if I knew of anybody in Air Bellows with donkeys besides me. What? If so, I don't know about it. Donkeys were in their meadow, the dogs were barking like crazy, and the pregnant pause of unspoken, What you gonna do about it? I said I can't do anything about it. It's dark. I can't see. I'll take care of it in the morning. First thing, before 8, I went out in car and found them in the meadow, as told, near a bunch of cows they'd found. Jack saw the car and came running braying. I drove down to the lake where I thought I'd leave the car and walk over a long hill to a place to cross the creek on the other side of the hill to go out a gate to the road. Could not drive back and have them follow me the way I came. It would mean going back through a bark fest of two dogs with no training. The donkeys would not walk through them. I parked the car, gave them their morning carrots beside the lake with a calm, peaceful surface. I told myself this exercise will be calm and peaceful. I'll walk across the mountain and they will follow. I poured some grain for them before our sojourn.
 
jack vacations at the lake
 
We were not walking long before it was like being out walking with two dogs. They did not always follow me. They explored out to the sides, explored ahead, found some woods and decided to explore them. I had to enter the woods for them to see me. They did not respond to calling. They saw me and followed me out of the woods and on down the hill. This is the farm I worked for seven years, a beautiful meadow covered with Christmas tree stumps and plant life on the ground I'd never seen before, very little of it native, anyway native to my experience. I felt sorrow for the ground. Generations of valuable topsoil blotted out. Next, it will be subdivisions, roads, driveways and lawns. I cherished my mortality all the more. It was a long walk. I was aware of not stressing my blood pressure walking up the long hill. Took my time, walking slowly with a stick in one hand and a bag of carrots in the other. Donkeys follow more of their own free will when I have carrots. The carrots run out, motivation to stay near me goes poof. Without something for them to eat, I'm of little to no importance.  They like me, but I'm not a donkey, don't have donkey priorities. Out on a walk over new territory, there is much going on around them that's more important than me, new greens to eat, new ground to explore.
 
 
jack and jenny found
we walked up the hill behind jenny's back
it's longer than it looks
 
Jenny watches Jack to see if he finds something and Jack watches Jenny to see if she found something, simultaneously while they explore for something new to eat. I don't even figure in their curious search. I was their slow friend who takes awhile to catch up. They figured I was safe, knew what I was about, went where I wanted to go. They followed me down the hill well. It was a fairly steep hill to walk down. Down a steep hill is more difficult than going up. I walk down the hill on my heels, more stiff-legged, and it requires balancing. Up the hill is on the forward part of the foot, flexed legs, leaning forward instead of backward. I saw the donkeys walked carefully down the hill. They walked stiff-legged too. It was fun out walking with them. I don't like them getting out, don't want them getting out, but don't mind them getting out. We had a good walk over a half mile rough ground with growth to my knees, me trusting I won't step on a rattlesnake. It's the only way I could walk through there was trust in the Divine. I've learned to trust going anywhere in peace. I had no ill intent, no ill feelings about the donkeys. Wasn't mad. We went for a walk together to see the world.
 
jack at the lake
 
I like for the donkeys to know the landscape around their meadow. I don't like them getting out, but I feel like it educates them to a degree. Everybody here on the mountain knows they're benign and  people friendly. I walked them on to the gate we went through onto the road. Up the hill and down the hill on the road we walked, donkeys taking their time, tasting vegetation along the sides of the road they recognized that they like. I did not want to push them. I was so worn out, I was in no hurry. I walked the whole course gently without stressing self or advancing my breathing. Walked at a comfortable pace uphill and downhill. The donkeys would walk with me better if I walked at their rate of walking. I'm so slow, it bores them to walk with me. They distract themselves with passing vegetation. We took our time sauntering down the road, a family outing. Fortunately, no cars needed the road. I walked them into the gate, poured some grain for them, and checked the row of fence along the backside of the rhododendron row. I had a feeling it was not there, but thought I'd check it since I was there. Came to the house, watched  a film about photographer Julius Schulman, went to town for a prescription, came home, took a nap. Went to the other end of the meadow and found the place I'm certain they went through. Patched it up and feel satisfied they will be waiting for carrots in the morning.  
 
 
jack sez, hee-haw
 
 
 
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