Nov 17 2011

The Donkey Chronicles, Part 2

Certainly you are on the edge of your seat awaiting some sort of resolution to the Donkey Situation. Here’s the status report:

The donkeys’ owner has finally been located, thanks to the expert sleuthing of Sgt. Jimmy of the Cottonmouth County Sheriff’s Dept.

Daphne and Liriope, Donk InvadersCrappily, it turns out that the owner is Mr Classy from seven or eight ranches over. He is the irascible lying sumbitch who hates his neighbors, beats dogs, impales babies on pitchforks, welches on bets, drinks Miller Lite, goes to church, and eats at Cracker Barrel. He wants nothing to do with the donkeys. In fact, he’s been letting them roam free for years. Reports from ranches as far as 5 miles distant attest that these donkeys are quite the jetsetters. It’s gotten even worse since the drought. The creek that traverses all the ranches in this area has run dry, leaving a creekbed that livestock on the lam use as a sort of highway that runs for miles. These 3 donkeys are among the more notorious rogues.

Mr Classy tells Sgt. Jimmy that he is sick and tired of these donkeys, and that if he is forced to come and collect them from my place, he’ll just shoot’em.

I am now totally screwed, because although the urgency with which I require three feral donkeys is immeasurably slight, I obviously can’t send them back to that redneck dicksmoke and his cheap-ass shotgun. I mean, I jumped into 60 degree water to save that drowning jenny. It was a poignant, dramatic, and heartwarming episode that would have made an excellent feel-good segment on the local evening news. I can’t just send her off to be murdered after a thing like that, right?

So I tell Sgt Jimmy that I’ll forgive all the damages if Mr Classy will just sign the donkeys over to me. This is a pretty good deal for Mr Classy, since feral donkeys are worth quite a bit less than nothing in these days of drought and hay famine, and the damage caused by Daphne’s natatory episode, which I had intended to hit him up for, will amount to quite a pile.

So Sgt. Jimmy attempts to broker the deal, occasioning a call from Mrs Classy. She wants to know what time today I can come and get the donkeys. What do you mean, I say. Don’t I already have them? No, she says, they’re at her neighbor’s place, she can see them from the road. Sure enough. Since breakfast the donkeys have apparently traversed 3 miles of rough terrain and are now completely absent from El Rancho Deluxe.

This surprises me. It hadn’t dawned on me for some reason that the donkeys would decide to go back. Why would any donkey elect to abandon swimming pools and hay for a ranch with no swimming pools and hay? But it also drives home the realization that the three donkeys are in fact afflicted with a wanderlust woven so deeply within their mettle that even so magnetic a personality as my own is powerless against it. They’re tumbleweeds in the John Ford movie of life. “Babe, I gotta ramble” is their motto. “Don’t fence me in” is the theme song that plays during their fadeouts.

Which means I gotta fence them in.

I tell Mrs Classy that I’ll have to run some new fence before I can take custody, which should take a couple of weeks. This pisses off Mrs Classy. Since no promise of a future good deed goes unpunished, she delivers a brief but colorful monologue expressing her dissatisfaction with the time line. But what can I do?

So the anticlimax is that I still have not officially adopted 3 wild donkeys, and that the fence guy is coming out next week to take a look.

To be continued.


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  1. buttercup

    Of all the asses in this heartwarming tale, The Classy’s are the least appealing.

  2. Belle

    Well, damn girl. You got yourself some fine livestock there, sure to prompt some exceptionally pithy posts. On behalf of those ungrateful beasts, I thank you for saving their… asses. Sorry, it became painfully clear that refraining from such language was cumbersome. I’m praying to all attending deities that Mr & Mrs Classy are afflicted with generations of fleas in their pubic hairs.

  3. Lovepug

    Holy shit, from what endless font of entitlement and self-absorbtion is Mrs. Classy drinking? I think their gift of donkeys to you should mean a reciprocal gift of free manure for life delivered discretly at midnight to the Classy Ranch gate once a week.

  4. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Awww, that story warmed my cockles. And confirmed in my mind the notion that beneath the chapped, tough spinster hide there beats a heart of the purest precious metal in the ‘verse.

    Somebody smarter than me said that a person’s character can be measured by the good it does for those who can do it no good in return. Your character is way above & beyond. May the Deity of Wayward Donkeys bless you richly!

  5. Ottawa Gardener

    No good deed goes unpunished indeed. For some people acts of cruely, acts of kindness and oblivious acts of intermediate nature are all responded to with the same bile. If the donkeys knew, I’m sure they’d thank you.

  6. Pinko Punko

    “That’s what I love about Texas”-to the tune of the DQ jingle

    When the tornado/locusts?/rain free lightning firestorm haves at it with the fence, that will inevitably only get up after Classybag probably shoots the animals, I will shake my skinny fists at the sky.

  7. Fannie Farmer (Mrs.)

    I’m reminded of the Harvard Law of Animal Behavior, apocryphally attributed to B.F. Skinner – “under carefully controlled experimental conditions, the animal will do what it damn well pleases.”

    I disagree with Lovepug a bit. In an agricultural context, manure has value, although not without attendant effort. It’s like Mafia money – all in a pile, it stinks, but spread it around judiciously and it helps things grow.

  8. josquin

    M and Mme Classy sound repulsive; establishing ownership of the three donks sounds complicated and expensive, but I am absolutely rivetted (can’t spell it for the life of me) by this unfolding drama! I wish those recalcitrant donkeys all good fortune and hope they can somehow live on your property.

  9. yttik

    “This pisses off Mrs Classy -she delivers a brief but colorful monologue expressing her dissatisfaction with the time line”

    Well, when you promised to take the jackasses off her hands, maybe she thought you meant her husband? In that case, being distressed about the delay is perfectly understandable.

  10. Katy

    The lesson I have learned from this delightful tale is that my many-faceted dreams of hiding away from the world on 8 acres and a moat aren’t gonna work, because damn people are everywhere.

    Best of luck with the neighbors.

  11. pheeno

    You don’t have any empty stalls with the horses? Won’t take long to tame them, donkeys are pretty friendly creatures once they get to know you.

  12. minervaK

    I know some fence-building do-gooders, if you need help… with the fence, I mean. Although, I’ll definitely come pet the donkeys if that’s required.

  13. gwyllion

    how much do you need money-wise to make this work? Serious question.

  14. gwyllion

    p.s. LOVE damn donkeys – they are SUCH knuckleheads!

  15. JfC

    What of the longhorn cattle?

  16. quixote

    The Classies, Mr. and Mrs., sound like a matched set. Put their phone number on every piece of junk mail you get and send it in, using the clever little post paid insert.

  17. squiggy

    Love abounding to you and the donkeys as well as to all your lucky critters.

  18. Hattie

    A herd of feral donkeys on the Big Island are descendants of ones brought over to transport the Kona coffee harvest in the old days. They are referred to as the Kona Nightingales. They are being shipped off to a sanctuary in California. This could be a solution to your donkey problem.
    More info here:

  19. 'stina

    Hey, we were able to find some hay that should last to the end of winter near El Campo. If you need contact info, I might be able to get it. I think he was asking $65 a bale.

  20. Freya

    Do you think If I wondered down and trapped myself under the pool liner, I too could be adopted?

  21. rubysecret

    Reminds me of my childhood half-pony. who could not be contained by any amount of fencing. Gelding though he was, he had hot pants for the neighbor’s mare and would go on walkabout any time of the day or night. Neighbor’s pasture was along the highway, so their place became known for its frequent sightings of equines in flagrante delicto. Which was no small task for my little aspiring stud who was half her size.
    Anyhoo, much luck with the donkey containment. Dang creatures, with those minds of their own.

  22. Satchel

    You had me at “natatory episode.”

    What happened to the longhorns?

  23. Tsee

    Poor donkeys. I hope it all goes well for you and them, or for perhaps new owners you might eventually find them.

    Yet, as a new reader of your blog (coming here from a very dear source to me), I find it delightfully humorous that a couple of posts about donkeys are the immediate read under the blame of patriarchy. It got me laughing.


  24. Kea

    Yeah, I wouldn’t mind adopting either.

  25. Barbara

    Those are some smart asses finding their way to you! Why they wandered off again I don’t know. I say don’t go after them, let them find their way back again.

  26. Comrade PhysioProf

    Do horses and donkeys get along with each other?

  27. Notorious Ph.D.

    Comrade: They get along so well that they can cross-breed to make little baby mules, or so I hear.

  28. Jill

    RE: the longhorns: they disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared. Nobody — and I’ve spent hours on the phone trying to track them down — will fess up to knowing who they belong to. I don’t mind, really, as long as they’re not here. The fence I’m going to put up will not only contain the donkeys, it will repel errant cattle. So hopefully these cattle incursions will soon be a thing of the past. It may not sound like much to you, but when a dozen longhorns biff through your front yard, the swath of destruction is not insignificant.

    As far as horses and donkeys getting along: theoretically it is not an impossibility. In praxis here at El Rancho Deluxe, my chestnut Arabian Stella hates the donkeys and charges at them with pinned ears and bared teeth, but my grey Arabian Pearl, who is the boss mare, loves them. Not sure what to make of this, except that it is all within normal parameters for equine herd behavior (where all parties are female). We’re continuing to collect data.

  29. Dawn Coyote

    I’m sooo jealous. Ever since I traveled in the Middle East some years ago, I have loved donkeys. Poor beasts of burden there, it always amused the locals to see me trying to befriend them.

  30. Jessie

    My aunt has a horse on her farm and didn’t want him to be alone so she got a donkey. The two apparently get along. That’s all I know about horse/donkey relations.

    I think it would be neat to train a donkey to pack around stuff for me or pull a little cart. They apparently do really well with positive-reinforcement training (e.g. clicker training) and shut down if pressured too much with negative reinforcement.

  31. PersianPenName

    I’m glad that the donkeys are soon to be at a better home than they came from. Thinking about getting them any goats or sheep to guard?

  32. Katherine

    Donkey posts come under “Horse Blogging”?

  33. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    As for the Classy family, those who abuse animals will harm humans. So the babies/pitchforks thing is only a little farfetched.

  34. Lovepug

    Speaking of asses, I caught the headline of some article on salon.com by Tracy Clark-Flory that reads something like A Feminist’s Secret Sex Fantasy along with a picture of a woman’s tear stained face.

    I can’t bring myself to even click on it. I need a blaming proxy.

  35. Embee

    I seem to recall that one of the Black Stallion books featured an irascible heir of the Black who was calmed only by the presence of a trusty donkey.

  36. Bushfire

    I wonder if Mr Classy is against abortion. I think there’s a correlation between people who think that a woman who kills a blob of cells to save her own life is a “murderer” who killed for “convenience” and people who are quite willing to kill conscious, sentient animals for actual convenience.

  37. Super Anon For This

    Okay, lovepug – I read as much as I could stand. Feminist who always points out the sexism in everything, making her friends uncomfortable sometimes, rilly rilly loves porn. The kind dudes love. Demeaning-to-women porn (but I repeat myself). “What is wrong with me?” she asks.

    Clark-Flory assures her that NOTHING is wrong! In fact, her love of dudely porn is so common among feminists that it’s a boring cliche.

    That’s all I could do for ya.

  38. hayduke


    Satan was the son of the Black Stallion; his faithful companion was Napoleon, I think. I am disinclined to go look this up (of course I don’t have it on my bookshelf!), but I think said faithful-broken-down-“nag” was the cart-horse belonging to a guy who shared stall rental space with ’em. The series was, ah, yeah. “Problematic” is the kindest euphamism I can come up with regarding race, gender, etc. Its treatment of animals was its sole saving grace.

    And I concur with Freya: I, too, am tempted to “fall” into the pool at Spinster HQ.

  39. slade

    I hope Mr. C.L. Ass doesn’t shoot them before you get the fence up.

    And the old saying, “fences make for good neighbors” must be true.

  40. Linda

    Knowing what I know of husbands like Mr Classy, I feel compelled to speak a brief word in defence of the woman who lives with him, likely endures sharing a bed with his stinking farting belching bod, and no doubt cleans his shit off the bowl every few days. Is it possible her reaction was one based on fear? Fear of *his* reaction to the news, and his possible mood/behaviour/abuse/violence to follow? Disturbingly, her escape from him doesn’t look as simple as it does for three donkeys. Only in a patriarchy.

  41. Kea

    Today’s Dudely Wonders Interlude … so Dude1 gives Dude2 my private email address, saying that Dude1, Dude2 and I should work together on some patriarchal ass-licking maths. I email both Dude1 and Dude2 to say that I am now working alone, and am not interested. Dude2 proceeds to send me stupid, boastful emails until I say quite clearly, “this conversation is over. Don’t email me again.” OK, I think y’ll know the ending …

  42. Tarr

    Not far from you in Navasota is an Irish donkey and horse trainer who will put them to a carriage/cart and teach them and you to drive to town.


  43. Gertrude Strine

    Modestine is exemplary:
    “Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes” – RL Stevenson. Link to it at Project Gutenberg.
    Teresa, Valentina, Cosima and Damiana are on the other hand too good to be true:
    I can testify that Castelbuono doesn’t have stinking garbage bins in the streets, that the donkeys continue to collect separated humido and secco, and that fresh donkey cheese is delicious, whoever milker is brave enough to trust a jenny enough to bow their head in her presence. Ha ha.

  44. speedbudget

    Sadly I wouldn’t be surprised if you did find the donkeys had met an unfortunate demise in the next few days. Mr. Classy seems like just the kind of guy who would kill them for spite, just cause he knows you want them and they are technically still his, which means he can do whatever he wants with them.

  45. Frumious B.

    Country living sounds complicated. From where I sit, if you get that fence put up, and the donkeys are still on the outside, you don’t *actually* have to deal with them anymore.

  46. Val

    Eh, SB I doubt he would expend the effort OR waste the ammunition! As Jill says, donkeys in TX are worth less than zero these days.
    One of my big burros is the champ of Fence Leak Detection; I could rent him out! He formed an attachment to the neighbor’s Belgian mares (talk about unrequited love & yes, of course he’s a gelding!); seemed like for a while he was “visiting” daily. In exasperation, I even left him there for extended periods… Never heard Word One from my neighbor, he probably didn’t even notice. His Belgians seem to be strictly pasture ornaments & don’t get much individualized attention.

  47. Killerchick

    *Why* did I go over to Salon to read Tracy Clark-Flory’s offensive response to the “guilty feminist’s” porn-confession letter? And *why oh why* did I stay for the comments?

    They are advocating celebrating the whims of their “evolutionary genitalia” (because female submission is etched into the DNA and anatomically situated in the vulva, rather than cultivated by generations of cultural oppression, doncha know…) in place of than following their “women’s studies brains”.

    Kill me now. In a non submissive-fantasy sort of way.

  48. Killerchick

    Ignore the “than” in my last. Sorry; writing in haste and high dudgeon; not proof-reading.

  49. LS

    I was so disappointed when Clark-Flory closed Broadsheet to write only about sex instead. Who the heck wants to read that? Ugh.

  50. Triste

    “As far as horses and donkeys getting along: theoretically it is not an impossibility. In praxis here at El Rancho Deluxe, my chestnut Arabian Stella hates the donkeys and charges at them with pinned ears and bared teeth, but my grey Arabian Pearl, who is the boss mare, loves them. Not sure what to make of this, except that it is all within normal parameters for equine herd behavior (where all parties are female). We’re continuing to collect data.”

    Is it too early to propose a hypothesis? Because I suggest something along the lines of: “Fuckin’ animals! Mysterious.”

  51. Laura


    I visited the Donkey Sanctuary outside the city here in Ontario and it was just so, so good to see people taking care of animals that, frankly, are not always as affectionate as horses/cows. I am so happy that they are valued there regardless of their temperament, and delighted to hear ya are attempting the same!!!!

    So if anyone wants to visit who is in the area, they have Sundays where you can visit per donation, and it is really awesome:


    Am gonna go again for my bday.

    Also, I am certain that your cup constantly runneth over with Men Hate You submissions, but this has recently made me throw up in my mouth such that I feel compelled to share and would love a succinct summation of the various forces (apathy, degradation as a game, etc.) at work in this situation:

  52. seo

    The lesson I have learned from this delightful tale is that my many-faceted dreams of hiding away from the world on 8 acres and a moat aren’t gonna work, because damn people are everywhere.

  1. Little Niggling Instances of the Redoubtable Efficacy of Patriarchal Oppression, Part I « I Blame The Patriarchy

    […] Savage Death Island « The Donkey Chronicles, Part 2 […]

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