In case you were wondering, the donkeys are fine. Well, better than fine - they are flourishing. How does one know their donkey herd is flourishing, you might ask (humor me)? It has something to do with their added weight, bordering on obesity, and general confidence around the cows. Lately, when Matilda goes in for her standard head-butt-against-any-random-donkey's-bottom-but-usually-Boo's-bottom maneuver, Boo opts for the undeniably courageous action of simply planting his feet, tucking his tail, putting his ears flat back against his head, and glaring at her angrily. This is in stark contrast to his regular response to a horn in the rear which was, the crowd-pleasing, sideways kick and run into the forest. Boo is many things; brave he is not. So in addition to the herd's relatively exorbitant weight gain in the midst of the drought, all the donkeys (Boo in particular) seem a little more carefree around the previously dominant cows. So what gives?
I'm not about to waste much time deciphering animal behavior, especially within the realm of the donkey kingdom. I mean, I've spent an embarrassing amount of time around donkeys for the past 2 + years and my major takeaways are these:
1) Donkeys only care about 2 things:
- Getting their way; and
2) Donkeys only care about food
Oh, I already said that, but you get my point. It's not the most sophisticated animal culture we're talking about here. My best guess about the recent tide-turning has to do with the five asses putting their heads together and doing some math. I mean the fact is, they outnumber the cows. Maybe they're fed up with being bullied at the hay ring, arbitrarily chased through the cactus for sport when Matilda's bored, and generally subservient to their bovine cousins. Once and for all, I think they realized they're the majority and decided to stop taking all the crap (i.e: they don't wait in line to eat hay anymore). I've said it before and here it is again: you can learn a lot from a donkey. And, it's true. I've said this before, like in my every day life to people I talk to. I'm full of brilliant observations.
Why all this livestock chatter? Probably because we've let the build so completely overwhelm our lives that I want to consciously remember why we started seriously talking about moving to the land in the first place. After all, the original plan was to use the land only as a weekend getaway for five or so years. Because of the livestock, I started missing the land during the week. I don't have a lot to thank them for, but I do thank them for that. And whether or not you understand why, I'm happy to admit how completely I look forward to seeing their stupid, smelly faces every. single. day.