Monday, December 15, 2008

Jethro update, and a recommendation

It's 65 degrees right now, at 4:35 pm as the sun is going down. It's days like this that make me glad I moved to North Carolina, and that make it possible for me to keep from self-medicating against the blues by lying in bed and reading Marion Zimmer Bradley books, one after the other, until they are all gone.

In this picture you see two recent projects:
  • The new improved donkey trailer, with back doors made by me, electrical lights/wiring done by Robert Hudson, and steel feet provided by Bob Vasile so the trailer would be stable.

    I was ready to tow it to the Motor Vehicle guy to get it roadworthy approved, except that my tow ball was on my van, and my van is totaled, lying crushed in a dump somewhere. So now I have to get a tow ball, and wiring, for the new truck, which adds a whole disheartening series of steps to this project.

    Meanwhile, Jethro is completely used to the trailer because we feed him in it. He hops in and backs out with insouciance.

    The chickens like the trailer too, because he's a messy eater and they are devoted gleaners. But he doesn't like it when they glean. So sometimes they are all in there, gleaning away, and he huffs up in amongst them and they all come exploding out any available hole between the boards and fly desperately to safety - i.e., a foot away, the limit of their flying range. Very amusing.

  • A new tarp shelter I strung up today, reflecting Tom Lyndes' Tarpology Lessons. Since Jethro has a bit of a phobia about his lovely wooden shed (he'll go in it to snatch a bite of dinner but then comes right out on his veranda to chew), I thought he'd hate this tarp - flapping and all - but actually as soon as I strung it up he got right under it and stayed there looking pleased and proprietary.

    Which goes to show, predictions of the future based on the past are vulnerable to derision, take that, you economic forecasters!

    I was determined to get it up today because it was the first nice day in ages, and because Jethro's been needing a new mineral block and I hate leaving blocks out where they get rained on. So really, this tarp is primarily a mineral-block-protector. The fact that the donkey likes it is an unexpected plus.

I want to recommend a very amusing and well-written book to you: Travels with My Donkey: One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago by Tim Moore. I read it before I had a donkey, and wished the whole time I could write that well and be that funny. I'm re-reading it now, and it's even funnier because now I know what he was talking about. I plan to run some quotes one of these days, but trust me, it's wonderful.

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