Sunday, April 10, 2011


If you've ever been within spitting distance of a donkey, then you already know this: they aren't anything like horses. Remember your awkward fifth grade self? Probably all braces, and frizzy hair, and gangly limbs, and just a very un-glamorous version of your adult, fabulous self (I'm not being specific to myself. No, really! I'm speaking generally about all of us! Really! ......... Ok. It's me.)? Well that's how donkeys compare to horses; they're the unformed, in-elegant version of the magnificent equine species. To summarize: they don't really measure up.

Of course, for someone wishing for a horse, they'll do in a pinch. If you squint really hard and cover your ears when around them, a donkey will just barely pass as a sorry example of a horse. At least that's what I thought, until we rode the horses over. Having the two creatures nose-to-nose brought them into stark contrast. And I wasn't the only one noticing the puny stature and other, vast differences between them. The meeting on Saturday represented the donkey herd's first encounter with a bona fide horse, and boy were they shocked. After lots of staring, they all broke out into jagged hee haws and screams, thusly hoping to intimidate the new beasts with their terrifying, er, hee haws (Nothing called a "hee haw" is scary. Ever).

Then they attempted to chase the horses and demonstrate their power and speed by galloping along the fence-line as we rode through the pasture. Unfortunately, a donkey "gallop" equates more to a stiff hop than the long, graceful strides of a horse. It wasn't impressing anyone. Finally Boo decided to take one for the team and confidently stepped forward. Ears back, head down. I think he even tried to puff out his sides a little to look really scary. Sadly, Chocolate (horse) called his bluff by also stepping forward, an action that was so frightening, Boo immediately spun around to show his bottom, gave a very small sideways kick, and ran away. The "spin and kick" maneuver is meant to threaten, but it really loses its power when done whilst running away.

It wasn't a proud showing. I know Saturday's visit dealt a huge blow to their little egos. But although they're crappy horse replacements, they do a great job being donkeys. Just donkeys.

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