среда, 4 июня 2008 г.

Dunkey tales

EVER SINCE HUBBY RICK AND I bought Mac, a Miniature Mediterranean Donkey, the puns have been flying. As you know, another (entirely proper) name for a donkey is also slang for the human body part that parks on a chair. So, to put it delicately, Mac has become the butt of a lot of jokes.

And, since he's particularly fond of Rick (a male bonding thing), Rick's the butt of jokes, too. It started with a phone call from a friend. "Hey, I hear Rick's got a great a**!" Followed by spasms of laughter. Then it turned into a game of pin the pun on the donkey. When our aged Mini mare, Charmin, gets tired of Mac's efforts to play, she'll turn tail and raise a hind leg. Which prompts me to warn Rick, "Charmie's gonna kick your a**."

When my vet, Buff Hildreth, DVM, comes by for barn calls, she'll grin and say, "Sue, get your a** over here." You get the picture. Jokes aside, it doesn't take a three-letter word that rhymes with grass for Mac to make us laugh. He's the farm clown, stepping into my big Paint, Drummer's, shoes while D-man is at camp in California. (See, "The Right Thing," This Horse Life, August '07.) "EVERYBODY LIKES ME!"

This is our first experience with a donkey, though friends who own them have raved. Who knew a vertically challenged creature with comically long ears could be so much fun? Mac is smart (a smart a**!…sorry, couldn't resist). He's affectionate--he LOVES attention. And he's been the perfect companion for Charmin.

Our newest equine resident, Bobo, wasn't immediately sold on Mac's charms. The Divine Ms. B, a show-ring diva fresh from a top hunter barn, tried to act cool when she first spotted him and his ears. But she wouldn't go near him. Nope. She tried to keep several acres distance between the two of them at all times. Mac, being, well, a stubborn a**, wouldn't take no for an answer.

I could almost hear him asking, in the donkey voice that comedian Eddie Murphy made classic in the "Shrek" movies, "Why don't you like me? Everybody likes me!" He'd purposefully graze in her general direction. She'd step away, eyeing him cautiously. This went on for almost a week, with Mac edging ever closer to the big gray mare, until I finally looked out and saw the two of them grazing nose to nose. I'd swear Mac was smiling. THAT'S MY A**

Bobo has since adopted Mac as her funny-eared foal. She chases the neighbor horses away when they try to sniff him through the fence. She gets frantic when he's out of sight (I think he sometimes hides just to see her reaction). And she plays with him, much to our entertainment.

They are adorable, the 16.3-hand mare and her knee-high "offspring." Mac tucks tail and runs like a cartoon character, his little legs a blur as he leads Bobo on a merry game of chase. Even 26-year-old Charmin gets into the act.

Yup, I can pretty much guarantee this donkey won't be our last. Hmmmm, maybe we'll name the next one Jack? Just kidding. I think.

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