My afternoons are spent volunteering at the Donkey Sanctuary where I’m kept amused by sixty eight cheeky little fellows Hell-bent on destruction, getting in my way and commandeering the wheelbarrow. I am getting pretty good at giving the speech to tourists about our work here and exactly how a guy from Scotland wound up in Aruba with possibly the coolest job on Earth. You could say I can talk the hind-legs off a donkey -sorry-!
I am a very happy man here even though the visa people are trying their best (by not trying at all) to make it difficult to extend my stay here. I’ve had painkillers work faster than these people and I honestly think if I took some of our donkeys, stuck a tie on them and put them in that office they would not do any worse than those employed right now. The words ‘get your ass in gear’ have never seemed more appropriate!
Most tourists that visit our sanctuary are nice enough and with the more I learn about these furry dudes –the donks-, the more I enjoy showing folk around and giving the grand tour. Stupid questions like “How do you tell which ones are male”? and “Do donkeys have teeth” from adults(!) can be forgiven but during the space of six months you will meet some visitors who really should be chopped up and fed to chickens;
“It’s not safe for your son to feed the donkeys out there. They surround you and fight with each other.”
“That’s OK, my son is tough”.
Fine then you old boot. Hope your son gets bum raped by sixty eight furry little murderers.
. . .
Locking up for the day and taking my time about it. With searing tropical cycle home to look forward to I feel no need to rush anything at this time of day and so I’m making myself a nice wee brew while counting today’s takings from the cash-register.
From the sudden explosion of activity outside, it would appear World War Three has just begun and as I step out the shop to inspect the latest donkey drama –last time they beat an old lady to the ground and stole her bag of carrots-, I feel myself stumped by their well hidden little dark side.
A pace of donkeys form around a young, wild goat that’s had the sheer nerve and stupidity to enter this lair and help itself to some gold-dust (hay). The circle of death closes in.
Stomping, biting, dragging, the blood-lust begins. With tilted-back ears and slanted eyes, they home in on their chosen target and by the time I get between these raging beasts the damage is done. Billy is an ex-goat. I take the dead animal in my arms and make my way to the Sanctuary café area, but now I am surrounded! They have built what would seem like an impenetrable wall of donkey around me. “Put the goat down and walk away”. Or “ EEEEEAAAWWW”! To you and me.
Being something of a donkey wrecking ball allows me to break through and escape into the safety of my café where I lay down our deceased horned one and continue cashing up well aware that our lovable little donkeys have now surrounded the area and are staring intently at the corpse on the floor.
Moments later while packing envelope’s into the safe I sense unease from outside. Not again!
Arriving late and now standing over our cabbaged one I now feel the need to explain to these tourists exactly why I have a dead goat in the middle of the café floor. “It’s our donkeys! Be VERY careful, they hate Americans almost as much as goats”!
Carrying Billy towards the front gate where his final resting place awaits (thorn bushes and cactus) I am once again menacingly stalked by murderous villains who still want more. I think in future when I see a Christmas scene involving that token, beloved donkey in a manger consisting of a baby a goat and a cow I will be thinking “this is an accident waiting to happen”, camera’s at the ready especially if Mary’s got a bag of carrots!