I've gotten better at monitoring Jethro's intent as his mood changes - I can usually sense (by the tilt of his neck or ears or the rolling of his eye or the little hustling movement he makes with his hooves) the moment when he's hatched a Bad Plan. I can usually head off those Bad Plans, but it requires constant attention.
We went walking yesterday and had two problems:
- It was windy, which makes him nervous;
- It was recycling day.
In the old days, this donkey was terrified of garbage cans and recycling bins; they must be about the size of hyenas or whatever else consumes donkeys in their native Africa.
This was my 2007 idea of what the situation must seem like in his bonehead: poor tiny Jethro wedged, helpless and insubstantial, between his huge Scylla and Charybdis nemeses ...
We used to have intense disagreements about whether it's safe to pass by a recycling bin.
Then, his entire opinion changed: he discovered there are usually beer bottles nestled amongst the newspapers!
Now, he likes to nose out a beer bottle and lick or suck it for as long as I'll let him. He wants to stop at every bin and have a sniff.
Well, yesterday when I decided he'd done enough beer bottle sucking I pulled him away from the treasures.
I wasn't paying attention - he had a sudden tantrum, reared up on his hind legs and knocked me over...
... which has happened before, but then...
... as if in slow motion, looking up, I saw him come down and, by accident, land on the side of my leg and ankle with his hoof, 550 pounds of donkey on top.
I tied him to a tree and sat on the road while I tried to see straight and get the stars to stop whirling around my head so we could finish the walk. I got him home and then decided to go on the elliptical trainer, but after about 35 minutes it was clear this had been a bad idea...
I went to Yiddish class though shifting gears in my truck was pretty ghastly.
I took all the painkillers in the house and went to bed with my rapidly swelling leg on top of the covers because I can't bear to have anything touch it.
I woke up this morning shouting from pain! And now, I get to drive to Wilmington and do a gig, in 18th century garb, for the re-enactors at Moore's Creek National Battlefield. I'm hobbling around trying to get up the courage to hobble up into the attic and find my garb. Meanwhile, if I take any more painkillers I'll fall asleep on the road.
I'm sure Jethro forgot all about this incident a second after it happened and is now wondering why I'm not giving him a walk.
My Yiddish professor Sheva asked why I don't get rid of him. I said, "Vayl s'iz nisht keyn kley-fabrik noent." (Because there is no glue factory nearby.)Here
's the song... Here
's a picture of the leg, two days later...