You soon learn when working with a herd of donkeys that nothing on this Earth is donkey proof. NOTHING!
Perimeter fence, café railing, my bike, boots, tools, goats… Basically, where there’s a will there’s a donkey!
By using their stretchy lips like fingers they can make short work a rope not tied tight enough and pick at the slightest weakness in a fence. Donkeys are so nosey and will investigate anything new and take particular interest in small children sometimes to the absolute horror of the kids when a big spongy nose leers over them sniffing and investigating.
Alerted to the fact that our big round donk Ban Ban had discovered the delights of the opened food container, I entered expecting the worst. Thirty bales of hay in there and I found him eating the bin. Maybe this one’s not so smart!
When one donkey finds a way out the rest will follow suit making their way to the nearest landfill and just explore/destroy the neighborhood. Next morning once they’ve discovered that all the foods in here we will arrive to find donkeys en mass waiting to be let back in.
. . .
Another hot day in the Dutch Antilles and my legs are going to fall off. My mission: Find sixteen escapee donkeys.
Nine of them are found in a village five minutes away eating from a massive pile of rubbish festering next to one of the houses.
Alpha donk Blackie is led into our donkey box without a prob whereas 7up’s about as stubborn as these things get. I often find that when a donkey is happy where he is –always where you don’t want him to be like on your foot or in the food container- you are presented with the literal meaning to a real pain in the ass to contend with.
After much pushing and pulling he’s in, but now that he’s filled up on pizza boxes and sanitary towels he doesn’t have that usual spark in the eyes at the sight of our food offerings and so the fat bastard is not willing to go anywhere without a struggle.
It’s late in the day now and we have to give up and try our luck tomorrow and as we pull out onto the main road –small country road- we’re faced by one of the funniest sights I’ve seen for a while as nine stampeding donkeys gallop their way towards us.
Cue Black Beauty theme tune.
Shit! “Get the gate!” I jump out and run to open the old padlocked small gate but it just won’t budge. Shit, shit, shit, closer and closer they come..
Clomp, clomp, clomp.. Shit, shit, shit. Too late and they pass heading towards the main gate with most of them going straight in thankfully except for a few led by our lead jenny (female donkey) Nagrita who likes to wander half way in and stop, turn around and say “Fuck it, I’m not done yet” , more of a snort really but I’m starting to lose my mind here and frequently converse with the donks.
Back she gallops towards the top of the road with me hot on her hoofs.
Clomp, clomp, clomp, puff, pant “Fuucking stop it”! And back again to the main gate.
After a fourth tour of the road she takes off through the cactus with another donkey and I’m forced to admit defeat. Damn you Nagrita, you have won this battle but not the war. Tomorrow you are mine!
And so I’m back the next day with a bucket of donkey food going door to door asking people if they’ve seen any donkeys. “Yes, in the donkey sanctuary”. Very helpful!
I re-enter the cactus and drag my ass through a forest of spines, thorns and snakes on a quest with the intention of dragging another two, slightly more smelly asses back with me. I start my shift soon and need to get back. I return to the sanctuary feeling heavy in defeat and disappointed with my ass finding abilities. Opening the gate to the café area, I plonk myself down and look up to see the unmistakable prancing of our cheeky donk NAGRITA! “Didn’t anyone tell you they came back this morning?”