You shouldn’t have your favourites when it comes to your family. But I do. Four-legged, long-eared family that is … definite equality amongst the two-legged ones.
In my asinus relationships, Ransom is a stand out. But shhhh … don’t tell my other sweet and gentle friends – I love them too. I just have a particular connection to my big guy.
I first met him when he was two years old when I stopped into a big donkey farm about 5 hours from here. I was a tiny bit obsessed with donkeys back then, sort of like I am now but even more intense. I wasn’t shopping for a donkey – I already had two who were providing me with my fix of my little Disney-like babes. I just wanted to LOOK.
As I walked through the field, this big honkin’ guy kept following me. Whenever I stopped, he’d come up and put his head on my shoulder. He was lovely, but he was BIG. We just had miniature donkeys, which were particularly good with the kids and for the fact that we only had an acre of land.
But, we were just in the process of moving to a real farm, with a real barn and real pastures. That opened a whole new world of possibility for me.
I couldn’t get Ransom out of my head. Two week after we moved to the farm, we made the trip to bring him home, and of course had to bring along a friend of the same size for him.
That was 23 years ago in July which makes my gentle, handsome Ransom twenty five years old. Such a grand and beautiful creature.
His wife, Erin, passed away a number of years ago. She was sick for quite awhile and dear old Ransom laid in the field beside her, sometime with his head resting on her. After she was gone, he mourned for her for almost two years. He stood alone, hung his head, ate very little and wouldn’t ‘talk’ to me. He was depressed – it was the saddest thing to see.
He still doesn’t hang out with the other donkeys much. It’s curious how they keep apart – you’d think being the same species would matter more than size, but there definitely has always been a separation. I hate that he’s alone a lot of the time. I also hate that the little mini-jack rules over him and chases him into the barn just to prove his superiority. He’s such an ass. He should leave my friend alone. My friend with the big doeful-soulful eyes. My friend with long, soft, pet-able ears. My dear and loyal friend who keeps the secret that he indeed is my most favourite, but knows full well that he is.
When I was out working in the yard today, I let Ransom out to hang around with me. He loves it and so do I. He follows me around, comes up for ear rubs, then heads off to enjoy his freedom, then comes back to find me. He wanders into Brian’s shop and just generally makes himself at home, savouring his freedom and feeling pretty proud of himself. It takes people aback when they drive in and see a mega-ass roaming around like a dog. I don’t think they get it. They think that animals should be corralled. And animals should. Friends shouldn’t.