On the lorry off the lorry

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Donkeys have a strong Christmas connection, says Sally Cooper, but its their wicked personalities that make the donkey-keeping challenge worth it

Mr Pebbles loves dressing up

Donkeys seem inextricably linked with Christmas (well that’s my excuse for writing about them again for the month of December!). But why do we have that association? Is it purely the religious image of one little donkey carrying Mary on a dusty road? Or are there other links? There do seem to be plenty of images of them dressing up for seasonal pictures. Dressing up … well there’s a while new question.
Do they enjoy it? Or are we forcing them into human games for our own amusement? Our Rodney adores all new things – dressing up and pulling fabric items around? Well, that is just FABULOUS! However, there are rules. Rodney says ‘no
bells’ – this is apparently just a step too far. Mister Pebbles is less keen about the fancy dressing up. He’s possibly shy.
However, on last month’s long-promised castration day clothes played a big part.

Mr Pebbles has high hopes for snow this year
Images: Sally Cooper

The donkey on the lorry
Nothing on this planet was going to get Mister Pebbles on that lorry to the vets. Rodney ran on and off, happily showing him the delights of the lorry ramp and the treats that await you at the top. Nope. No movement. Oddly enough, he’s as stubborn as a mule!
We rang the vet surgery to explain the situation, and to my amazement the response was ‘have you tried the jumper method?’. Well no, we hadn’t.
A jumper was found and duly placed over the donkey’s head from behind, with the arms over his ears. The lights went out and a suddenly floppy-bodied donkey relaxed.
Then we simply had to physically move each leg up the ramp – with a human operating each corner, naturally.
Miracle of miracles, the donkey was finally on the lorry!
The operation went well (no details required).
Then more lorry antics. The vet kindly donated a jacket for the ‘cover the head’ routine, and we made it onto the lorry without any drama. The problem for the return trip was at the home end – Mister Pebbles decided he was now not, not, not getting off the lorry.
Rodney encouraged and nudged and hid round the corner … Nothing. The decision was finally made to leave him in there, with the ramp down, in the secure yard area.
We watched from the kitchen for a while, but there was no movement.
Two hours later, once we’d all stopped watching, he sneaked off and ate all my flowers and herbs. And yes, there was a definite ‘that will teach you’ smile on his face.
Donkeys may represent Christmas and Peace on earth, but they are also great fun and
wicked friends.
Merry Christmas from us all!

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