Molly McMule’s Horse Tales - 1001 Stall Stories

Miniature Donkeys

“HEE-HAW, HEE-HAW, AAAAAAAAAAW-EEEEEEEEE”, brayed Molly, so loudly that she startled all the other stable mates.

“What on earth is so funny?” said Ginny. “I haven’t heard you make that much of a fuss in a dog’s age!”

“That’s just it. I thought I saw a dog out in the pasture, and it turns out that it isn’t one of those animals at all. You know that I’m not particularly fond of dogs and goats. It’s a ‘donkey thing’ that sort of sticks in my mind too,” Molly answered.

“Well then, just what are you looking at?” asked Beau. “It’s not a pony, nor another foal, but it’s not very big either!”

“It’s a miniature donkey! Cute little things, aren’t they?” Molly said. “Let’s take a walk out in the pasture and say ‘hello’.”

So the entire stable left with much anticipation, anxious to greet the new addition to the herd. The closer they got, the more curious they were. Questions were springing up in their minds and they couldn’t wait to get the answers. Finally, they got close enough to make a real inspection of this small donkey and also to make her acquaintance.

“Hi”, I’m Desi. What’s your name?”

“They call me Jenny, and over there, sort of checking out the barn, is Jack. We’re a pair and it keeps us from getting lonely. We really like company, so it’s great to be here with all of you,” she offered.

“It’s nice to have you here,” Equinox said. “Where’d you come from?”

“If you’re asking where I was born…in Texas. But my ancestors were from the Mediterranean Islands of Sicily and Sardinia.”

“Were they small too?” asked the huge Ole.

“Oh yes, we’re a diminutive or small breed of donkey, not, as they say, small because we were bred down. We are all between 36 and 38 inches tall and weigh about 250 to 450 pounds. We are also healthy, and have a life span of about 25 to 40 years,” she answered proudly.

“Seems like you make friends pretty easily,” Desi noted. “We should have a pretty good time here. There’s plenty of pasture and we have really good people looking out for us too.”

Molly was watching closely, but also taking a good look at the new additions’ features. She noted that they were a gray-dun color, like most donkeys, with a lighter colored belly and inside legs. They also had the darker colored dorsal stripe down their backs and over the shoulders.

Equinox was the first to question the dark stripes and asked about it. Molly explained that this is called the Donkey’s Cross and it is characteristic of all donkeys.

Jack said, “There is a Biblical legend about how we got this cross. The story was that many years ago a poor farmer near Jerusalem had a small donkey that was too small to be of any value as a work animal, so he and his family, decided to tie it to a tree and put a sign on it saying that it was free to whoever might want to have it rather than destroy it. Later two men came by and asked if they could have it because the Lord had need for it. This was the donkey that Jesus rode into the city on Palm Sunday, and according to the legend, the donkey has carried this cross ever since.”

“Hmmm, that’s interesting,” Beau said. “Never heard that story before.”

A little more chatting went on and all of a sudden, Jenny and Jack began braying, softly at first, and then louder and louder. Seems that this is their way of communicating their needs, and it was getting to be feeding time. Donkeys seem to establish a sort of schedule and if this schedule is not kept, they let you know about it by braying. It’s their way of communication.

As they walked back to the barn to satisfy their hunger, they talked some more.

“They are really sociable animals and make good pets,” said Molly to Ginny. “I hear they are very good with children, and also the handicapped and elderly. Sometimes they are used as guard donkeys, but not all of them are suited for that purpose.”

“Guard donkeys?” Ginny questioned. “Guard against what?”

“Mostly they are used to guard against coyotes and dogs. They typically don’t like dogs very much, especially small ones, so a farm with dogs must be cautious about this, but it can be managed.”

The closer they got to the barn, the louder the chatter. It was time for dinner, and everyone was getting anxious. The braying got louder and the other horses were stomping and poking around their buckets anxiously looking for their ‘person’ who was just around the corner.

Molly just smiled and watched as each and everyone took their place, including the new additions. All’s quiet now as they chomp down their food and get ready for a good night’s sleep and a great day tomorrow!

Molly says: check the Internet for more information about the Miniature Donkeys. Some sites have some really cute pictures too!