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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Last minute purchases before Jethro arrives

As I mentioned in my report on visiting Jethro the donkey with my daughter and her boyfriend, my donkey dealer has to make the long trip from Mooresville to Raleigh Thursday. His children raised turkeys to be entered into 4-H competition at the NC State Fair, which begins this weekend.

Craig ruefully told us that, first, he hates turkeys (evidently they have nasty dispositions), and second, he resented having to go pick up them up - it's a very long way - in Raleigh in early spring, and, third, they were expected to put on 50 pounds (each) in the intervening months. He even had to special order expensive "Show Chow" for them. Nevertheless, it was obvious he was pleased his kids are interested in farming and therefore it was worth spoiling them (the kids, not the turkeys) with a few hundred-pound bags of boutique turkey food... I hope they win...

So, anyway, sometime between 10 and 12, Craig will be dropping Jethro off on his way to the fairgrounds. I'm nervous and excited. I thought it might be of interest to see the odd last minute purchases I made today:

Two galvanized buckets, this little one for hauling and a big big one for Jethro. Donkeys drink about 13 gallons of water a day and they're fussy, they want it to be nice and clean.

A bag of cheap apples (not really so cheap). The training method I plan to follow word-for-word says that, in general, one should not train with food after the first couple of days. Still, one casually burns through quite a few apples in the beginning when trying to attract the donkey's interest (and good will).

This is a 25-pound block of salt and minerals. I read it was a necessary dietary component. This may be the dullest picture I've ever posted on this blog.

I went into a "tack shop" (a kind of store I'd never exactly heard of before this current project) where you buy expensive stuff for your horses. Keeping a donkey beautiful is serious business. Here: a curry comb, a body brush, a hoof pick, and a ring to screw into a post in his shed to tie him to when his hooves need attention.

Finally, some inspirational reading for when I can't sleep. Fortuitously these books all arrived in the mail today: "Travels in a Donkey Trap" (a lady even older than I am decides to spend a year tooling around the country); "Travels with My Donkey, One Man and His Ass on a Pilgrimage to Santiago" (self explanatory); and "Packin' In on Mules and Horses." It's very reassuring that people have written books on this subject. I wonder if they were best sellers.

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At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been checking to see if your donkey had arrived. Exciting, huh! And yes, I never expected to see a blog photo of salt. But it's not dull to vicariously experience doing something so unusual and appealing, to my way of thinking. I threatened for years to get a pair of sheep to provide a pastoral scene in the backyard and give our Great Pyrenees something to herd. Never quite had the nerve, living in the Atlanta 'burbs (though a neighbor had good-sized pig), and now in Danville my yard's too small. And we get lots of wildlife here, even though we live just a couple of blocks off Main Street: an occasional coyote, deer of course, hawks, box turtles, rabbits, and unfortunately, copperheads. Good luck with Jethro!

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I especially enjhoyed the title ''One Man and His Ass'',,,that's a keeper. Bueno Suarte, Melinama ! Your adventure begins !

At 8:45 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Jethro certainly has his feet braced in that picture, if you look closely. I bet you'll be seeing a lot more of that stance in the weeks ahead!


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