Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Dear Donkeys...



Dear Donkeys, 
 how I love your soft muzzles,
 and funny lips...
  Your huge liquid, brown eyes lined in black...
 and white
 and your FUZZY, WUZZY supersize ears,

 I adore your delicate little hooves that support those hefty bodies,
and your playful and sweet dispositions.
 I love how you BRAY and come a runnin', whenever I call to you.
  I love my dear donkeys.
  If you have read the Hopalong Hollow GAZETTE for any time, you may remember how I came to have 2 lovely donkey gals.
 We first adopted the "year old", Ursula, to become the guardian donkey for the goats and sheep.
    She did her job well. 
About a year later, when I was making my daily visit to the barn to feed treats to all the ladies, over the hill trots our Ursula, with a wee baby donkey, running alongside and still wet from birth! 
       There were NO male donkeys within 5 miles of here and we had no reason to believe that Ursula was pregnant. She was always a chunky donkey, but I just thought her healthy appetite was responsible. Apparently, she had already been pregnant when I adopted her!  Donkeys carry their young for 12 months.
Seeing that beautiful little baby donk trotting alongside her mommy  was a touching and memorable moment. I couldn't believe it. I named her Jemima
That was a wonderful day!
Jemima is almost 5 years old now, and her mama Ursula is 7.
Now I will tell you a secret, please don't let this get out to the other barn ladies: MY donkeys are my very, very, very favorite of ALL the barn folk.
So I think they deserve more than one page in the garden book,

they deserve 2 pages.

 I adore those dear donkeys. Did I mention that they LOVE fruit AND vegetables?
Which is why it's so fortuitous that James just walked in the door with this:
I am always pilfering his carrots for the donkeys. He made me promise to save at least 10 carrots for his cooking... we negotiated that down to 5.
See ya later, gotta go up to the barn to give the donks a treat!

40 comments:

  1. Well who knew that carrots came in 25 pound packages anyway. But I can see how you might need that many to keep everyone happy. Do any of the other animals eat them or just the donkeys.

    I thought I had read all you past posts but had missed Jemima's entrance. How sweet. With such a long gestation period I can see how it came as a big surprise. A happy one though.

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    1. Hey Vic,All the sheep, goats and donks get carrots. But I am extremely partial to the donkeys and give them extra treats, because sheep are absolute gluttons, butting everyone out the way, and trying to eat everyone else's share. They will actually grab a carrot out of a donkeys mouth! There is also a sweet little goat, who never gets enough if I don't hand feed her in private.

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  2. I love your little story about Ursula and Jemima. They look so sweet looking through that window together.

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    1. Cathy, That is a window into the barn. I am usually able to feed the donkeys their treats from the window, preventing the greedy sheep from stealing all the food.

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  3. Always wanted a donkey. I have heard they are very sweet. I too buy large bags of carrots, but that bag is the largest bag I've ever seen. Luckily, Gracie and Brownie, the neglected horses I feed, get them all. Love the drawings.

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    1. Donna, Some donkeys have the personality traits of a good dog. They like affection, and human companionship, but are still very independent. They are protective and come when I call them. When I am shearing the sheep, the donkeys will not leave me alone, they want some of that attention and keep nudging me to be pet. It is kind of annoying, but I let them get away with it, cuz they're so cute.

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  4. What a great story about Ursula and the surprise of little Jemima. They look sweet and friendly.

    Have a nice weekend ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Lorraine, It was an especially nice surprise when Jemima arrived, because I had been having a horrible week, she took away all my troubles

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  5. In the UK we are about to celebrate Mother's Day. Your post about donkeys seems very well timed. I wish I had the space for an Ursula and foal x

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    1. Valerie, How true, it is a nice mother- daughter story. I wish you could have a pair of donkey gals, you would love them as I do.

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  6. Oh my goodness!! Five years?! What a thrilling surprise!! Such sweet darlings!!! (GarBear won't let me have a Donkey)!! ~(But a lady down the way has some to pet...and sell)~ ;-)
    I just love seeing the delightful drawings!!
    xx oo Linnie

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  7. Linnie, I know, it's hard to believe she is 5 years old now. Why can't you have a donkey? I think Gary should RELENT! You must get a donkey, they get along with goats very nicely.

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  8. Jeri, your donkeys are so sweet looking---I've always thought they looked as if they were smiling! What a sight it must have been to see the newborn running with its mother! I didn't realize they love carrots. Yes, they do deserve 2 pages in your garden book! ♥

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    1. Martha,It was a shocker! I could scarcely believe my eyes when I saw her. To think that Ursula had that baby out in the meadow within the last 24 hours that I had seen her. It was so incredible. But the same thing happened with one of my goats, we came home from a show, and here is this darling baby goat leaping around the barn!

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  9. I love Ursula in her hat! Something tells me you made it. I cannot believe dear little Jemima is 5 years old already. Time flies!
    Your illustrations are great Jeri, and I really like the corn stalks. You have been busy.


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    1. Penny, I bought that hat, I couldn't resist. But it looked far better on her than me. She'll be 5 this summer, I didn't think it had been that long ago, but, I looked up the old post to find the pics, and there it was. She still has the look of a youngster.

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  10. I love, love donkeys...a favorite of mine too. My sister has donkeys in many colors, large and small...all a great attraction at their farm. Even three or four pages for the donkeys wouldn't be too much!

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    1. I used to want horses but it turns out I am really a Donkey person, sounds like your sister is too. Ursula was supposed to be a miniature, but she is somewhere in between a mini and a full size.

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  11. JERI LANDERS, how you have made me smile this morning!!!!!!!

    I think you know by now that I am partial to the equine species (oh dear, are donkeys in that category?) - Horses, DONKEYS, you name it, I LOVE THEM and yes....shhhhhhhhhhhh.....they are my favorite of the barn folk!

    I cannot believe little Jemima is already FIVE years old? No way.....and then Penny fashioned your little needle felted wonder, and I wanted her and.....teeeheee....time is going to fast. So then, donkeys carry their young for one year! I bet that was some surprise when Urse came out of the barn with a baby! teeheheheee being ignorant in all things farm-like, I would have thought it was a MIRACLE birth!!!!!

    What a joy to live in a farmhouse with a barn with animals that you can tend to. I believe that God made us to live in the garden, a place where we can be connected to LIFE, not this rush of a rat race humanity has created. To examine wildlife and observe the animals and celebrate their contribution to nature has got to be such a joy. And the content of your book is going to be a thrilling moment to uncover.

    Give Ursula and Jemima a hug for me? And I too love those muzzles and funny lips and ears. Sigh....

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    1. Anita,I know how you love horses; I was horse crazy as a little girl, but here I am, with donkeys instead. The wee babe was born out in the meadow, that's why I never knew about the birth. I am glad it was such a beautiful sunny day at the time, Ursula just walked off and had her baby , maybe under a tree. I like to imagine that the other "Gals" were with her, cheering her on... but she probably preferred to be alone. I tell you, it is a joy having my wonderful family of animals surrounding me. You never know what to expect around here!

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  12. That must have been a wonderful surprise, a brand new baby donkey! They are adorable. They look right at home in the orchard. -Jenn

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    1. They would be right at home in the orchard, if I let them! We only have 2 trees that over-produce pears which are so huge and so hard, a human could never eat them. The animals get all of them, dispersed each day until they are all gone. It is AMbrosia to the barn ladies, they love fruit even more than they love carrots

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  13. What a delightful history of your donks! I can see why they have your heart. I so enjoy living vicariously the country life through your photos and fantastic illustrations. I know that your farm must require much more work than it seems, but your love and passion for the lifestyle you lead is charming.

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    1. Hi Katie, There is some work , but that is how I get my exercise. Most of the work involves cleaning up after everyone. Fortunately, my birds free-range, so nature takes care of most of that mess. Mucking out the barn is quite another matter.... ick, you don't want to hear about that! Oh, and shearing the sheep is a big job, even though I only have 3 sheep, I do it with hand shears.Oh, and then there is hoof-trimming, and since all the animals hate it, we have to catch them first!

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  14. Oh I had to come back, and there you are in your reply. I can imagine that the company you keep has to be intriguing, laugh-inducing, never boring, always inspiring. And I WISH I COULD HAVE A DONKEY!!!!! We are going out today to see the horses out east of the Twin Cities. I just love hearing them make those gutteral grunts and huffs....and funny thing, I would have loved to see little Jemima be born. I love to watch the birth of a horse or other animals!

    Have a super wonderful day dearest Jeri.

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    1. Anita, if I had known Ursula was pregnant, I would have been a clucking mother hen for months, worrying and fretting and probably calling a vet in. It would have been great to witness the birth, but I would have been a nervous wreck. So I guess it was for the best that she kept her secret. Enjoy the horses today!

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  15. such a lovely story
    and such a surprise for you, your donkey was pregnant.
    your drawings are entirely charming.

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    1. Tammie, she was such a fatty, I guess she had a good reason!

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  16. Oh, I totally understand your donkey affections. I, too, am smitten with my little girls. So very sweet and loving....there is nothing sweeter than kissing them around their soft little noses!! And they hold so very still to receive those kisses! Love, love, love donkeys!! However, if you had a Kunekune pig you might rethink that....and it would be a tie as to who held your affections the most!!!

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    1. Beverly, I've held off on getting a pig... I just don't think I could handle any more cuteness, after seeing your piggy videos!

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  17. Oh my what a beautiful surprise! Love it!! I think the girls should have their own book.
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. Debbie, maybe they will one day.....hmmmmm.

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  18. Jeri, thank you for acquainting me with these charming donkeys. Although I've never really been around any donkeys, I now think that I might just have an idea of their winning ways. They certainly deserve more than one page in the amazing Garden Book that you are creating!

    xo

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    1. Thanks Frances, I have a great affection for these girls, not only because of their personalities, but because of the circumstances of Jemima's birth.

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  19. So lovely to visit here Jeri. How you present your work and how you do it.. your talent overflows... I could live right here on your blog and always be happy.. as a child I always wanted to have a donkey ... and a monkey.. never happened. had lots of other animals tho.. love them ...and the work you do with yours and share with us.!!! xoxo

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    1. Gwen, we had a neighbor with a spider monkey. He was a fascinating little devil who got into everything. They had a jungle of trees in the back of their house and he would swing from the branches all day long. It was a blast to watch him.

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  20. Oh Jeri I never read about Ursula. What a beautiful story. Now that should be another book of its own. All your sweeties are looking good in the garden. Have a great week! P.S. Give Ursula and Gemima a hug for me.

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  21. Deborah, It could make a cute short story, I may add it to my list of tiny books.

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  22. Jeri. Your blog is absolutely beautiful and such an inspiration. The antics and character of each critter are charming. I don't read each of your posts as you post them. Instead, I wait until I'm sure I have plenty of time to actually read them and appreciate your art so forgive me for not commenting often. Just know that it takes a pretty special blog for me to do that ☺️

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