PRATIE PLACE

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to use a donkey to carry water.

Last fall I bought 18 land-locked scraggly logged acres, and they are coming up in a ton of brush, so naturally my thoughts turn to goats. I don't like goats -- when I had one for a week it gave me a nervous breakdown and I took it back! But I think I've struck a deal with Menticia's dad - he'll find me a couple of cheap goats, I'll shift them around this overgrown property all summer and fall (using cattle panels for a movable pen), and then I'll give them back and Menticia's friends and relatives will have a grand barbecue.

But how to get water to these goats?

Hannah pointed out: I have a very underemployed beast of burden. So I bought a couple of water jugs at Walmart and moved their spigots from the top to the bottom using this handful of widgets I found at Home Depot.





Yes, I did check before I left the store to make sure I could get my hand into the screw-top opening. But no, I didn't consider that my forearm wouldn't fit. So I had to cut holes in the top of the containers in order to screw in the spigots.



use tarp rachets to tighten saddleI bought a set of four tie-down rachets and took them apart. I used two of the rachets to repair my sawbuck pack saddle (its leather was cracked and moldy and its buckles were rusted). Then there were a lot of hooks left so I tied the hooks to the ends of two lengths of rope and used the rope to hang the water panniers from the saddle.



Then it was time to go get Jethro. I'd added a hitching ring to the side of my house. Using cheese balls (they are like spherical cheese doodles and we had a huge bucket of them brought to our last pot-luck dinner by a guy who doesn't cook - none of us eat them but the donkey and horse love them) I convinced him to stand still while I hung the water panniers off his saddle and filled them with water (using a Y-splitter for the hose so the two sides would fill at an equal rate). Jethro hates water but he loves cheese balls more so there was no trouble.



Then we were off down the road with his 7-gallon containers sloshing. He did not like the sloshing sound but, again, cheese balls made all things good.



Since there are no goats yet, I just dumped the water at the end of the driveway. I need to figure out how to make these spigots gush faster - Jethro and I both got bored waiting for the containers to empty.

As always, Jethro considers the command "STOP!" to be optional. I will have to tie him up when it's time to dump the water into the goats' trough or he'll be off.

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