These are the resident donkeys on the Tumbling River Ranch. They’re a free range mother and son. I think that someone told one of the boys the mom is 40 years old! They’re worried about the son once the mom dies, because they are pack animals. Yes, I was wiping a tear from my eye and rapid-fire asking questions the boys didn’t have answers to. They’re both very sweet and are always together. They wander around the property–I’m not sure if they actually belong to the ranch or if they just watch out for them. Anyone can pet them and they just stand there and enjoy it. They came right up to our porch to say hello, crowding in on us for attention and affection. Probably to satisfy their curiosity, too. What I think is so funny about the donkeys is their curiosity. I took a few pics of this pair that I’ll post soon to Instagram. I was too busy posting random animals that happened to show up in our yard this week–a flock of lovebirds that hang out once in a while (they blend in so well, they’re hard to take a good pic of), a squirrel (once in a blue, blue moon do we get one and someone posted a pic of a mutant squirrel which led me to comment about stalking a squirrel if one showed up in our yard–bam! One did.) and a hawk who’s hard to capture on “film.” They’ve been so “quiet” of late.
I don’t have much to say about this pair, except they are really sweet, always together, and they brought me great joy. They were also interested in the mule that the storyteller/trapper brought, but I’m not so sure the mule was as into them as they were with him. Picture of pack mule to come in a later post. What tickled me was they were some of the first animals we saw after our arrival. If you read my other post about Oatman, you’ll remember my wee obsession with these beasts. A white burro makes an appearance in my novel. I came home from Oatman and wrote that scene the following day. I had been thinking about it before we left and seeing the handful of donkeys solidified it for me. 👍🏼🐴
In The Reluctant Bandit, there’s an on-going joke amongst the gang about Wrighty getting “dusted by a desert canary.” He got drunk and tried to ride one. It didn’t end well for Wrighty and now he has it out for the little white burro, along with pretty much everyone else. Here’s how Goat tells it to Annabelle:
Goat cackled and sat down. He flipped his hand in the direction the burro went.
“I used to feed more of them burros, that is, before Wrighty got it into his head to try to ride one when he was filled with gut warmer. He was so drunk, he could barely walk but thought it was a good idea to try to ride that little white one.” He was shaking his head, smiling at the memory. “He nearly got on it when it kicked but good.” Hooting, he slapped his thigh, rolling back and forth on his backside. He laughed so hard, he wiped a tear from his eye. “He was dusted by a burro!” More laughter and tears poured out of him. “Serves the sum o’ bitch right.” He nodded for emphasis.
Annabelle was horrified to be discussing Wrighty, not only twice in one day, but also in a less-than-flattering way. She tossed a quick look over either shoulder and then around them, making sure no one heard. Her mouth hung open and her eyebrows raised high —like a wide open barn.
“Don’t you worry. Everyone knows the story and agrees. The only thing we don’t agree on is the damned burros. Belonged to some miner who took a fall. He had a pair of them, and they wander around from time to time.”
“Where is he now?”
“I suppose six feet under.”
The rest of the gang thinks Wrighty getting dusted was funny, too…