many weeks of events narrowed into one post:
pancake: is a jerk. he was let out into the barn yard (while i was at the beach) and he rolled in the dirt and acted like he was going to be good. sometime that night he busted through the electric fence and got jack, the other donkey, and the horses and cows to inter mingle and go to places they shouldn’t have been. so he is a bad influence. so i was upset about that when i was informed that he was chasing the little calves. it was feared that if he kept chasing them he would run them to death (it can really happen). and my fear was that if it killed a calf pancake would be no longer…when i got back from the beach i found him (in the field with the cows and jack and the horses) and we had a talk about how bad he was. he wasn’t to chase the calves any longer and he wasn’t to be mean. he was to be a sweet donkey and stop running through the electric fence. i am happy to report that he hasn’t been through anymore fences. he has been good (as far as i know) and has been hanging out with jack. he seems to like his friend and seems really happy in the field. now when we go feed he will run to me (i am not delusional to think he is running to me….it is the sweet feed and treats that he loves). when we are done feeding he will follow us back to the gate wanting more treats. we can rub him and pat him now (he still gets a little skittish depending on if the horses are around) but for the most part he is getting used to us. he had a cut on his neck (jack bites him and tackles him) so i had to get some purple spray to put on it. i got the wrong kind because it makes noise coming out of the can…but we were both troopers and he didn’t kick me so it was all good. even though he is kind of a jerk he really is cute and i love him.
jack: is old. he has been around for a long time. i think his official name is black jack but he has since faded and isn’t pure black anymore so i just call him jack. he is so funny. unlike pancake’s ears (that are always pointed straight up) jack will let his ears flop over and he looks sad all the time. the first few times i would feed him he would just get a mouth full of food and would look at me. now he sticks his head in the bucket and won’t move. (it is funny seeing two donkeys trying to put their head in the same bucket – they don’t like it and act like they are going to fight it out). we have witnessed jack nipping at pancakes legs and we have seen him tackle pancake. we have seen him run and cut off a horse to get his sweet feed. he will come to us and he will follow us when we go back to the gate. unlike pancake who puts his head through the gate jack will but his head against the gate almost like he is bowing in prayer for one more. and looks up like well… jack is very relaxed (unless abbey is around) and you can rub him and pat him and put him in a head lock. he is a sweet boy.
abbey and flag: are horses. we have started feeding the horses in the field because they make pancake and jack skittish. they are demanding and want food yesterday. we take an extra bucket so that they can have some sweet feed. (i admit we try to sneak up to the field so we don’t have to worry about them being around while we feed). they are both beautiful but they are a handful (especially when i am still not too trusting that pancake won’t kick me at some point). abbey rules the field and all the other animals (cows included) will get out of her way. flag isn’t as mean but is big and so i think he intimidates but is actually not as needy/demanding/bossy. they really are sweet and if i wasn’t worried about getting kicked by them or the donkeys i wouldn’t mind them a bit.
penny: is a horse full or surprises. a while ago when i went to feed pancake i heard luigi making a fuss and pancake was making noise and i heard another noise that i didn’t know. i walked around the corner and there stood penny with her baby (we call him argyle). her owner didn’t know she was pregnant until a few days before she had the foal. she refused to let me touch her and cornered me in the barn twice when i was feeding luigi. she wouldn’t let the colt get close to me (she would snort and he would back up). finally she ate some sweet feed and she is my new best friend. as long as her head was in a bucket she would let us pet and brush her. i was finally able to touch argyle by brushing her and moved on to him and he was ok (mostly). we have made great progress. penny body checked me and made me drop a bucket and almost fall on my face (never get in the way of a horse and her bucket). argyle bit me (he is chewing a lot). he will let us pet him and thinks he is 1. a dog (he leans into me when i rub him) and 2. a rodeo star (he will randomly run around bucking). he is so funny to watch get bigger. he is letting us pet him and pat him and will approach us when we call him. i still am cautious about him kicking so i keep my hand on his back and make sure he never turns on me. (andy laughed at me when argyle bit me…i got to laugh at him because argyle bit his leg hairs and pulled). penny is a beautiful horse and her colt is so handsome. we have great plans for him to win the kentucky derby….ok maybe not.
luigi: is the proud papa. he is still funny. he tries to eat my camera when i take pictures of him. we are able to brush him a little bit…but he really is only interested in flapping his lips and eating treats!
blackie: is not my favorite. dad went to check on pancake and blackie was in the hay loft. blackie is a 18 foot black snake (ok maybe not 18 feet but when you are talking about snakes 2 feet might as well be 18 feet). i seriously think he might be 5 foot but the next time i went to the barn i talked to the snake…i said please don’t ever show yourself while i am here. i know that black snakes are good and i don’t want to kill him…but if he sneaks up on me or freaks me out i am not promising i wouldn’t throw my bucket at him. we made a pack (at least on my end we did) that i wouldn’t hurt him as long as he stayed out of my way. now when i go i make sure i turn on lights and that i look before entering. blackie creeps me out.
we have had so much fun checking on and feeding the animals. it has been an adventure trying to gain the trust of an animal that doesn’t really understand what is going on. pancake was taken from the only family that he has known. jack was thrown together with a crazy young ass. penny had to trust that these strangers wouldn’t hurt her or the baby. argyle had to learn that we wouldn’t hurt him or his mama (now if he would learn to not bite). and blackie understands his hiding places is the difference in life and death.
with andy’s summer schedule i had to feed alone a lot of the time and it was hard work and sometimes scary. “farming” is hard work but it is so rewarding when the animals walk up to you and put their muzzle in your hand after thinking that there would be no way they would ever warm up to you.