Living with Fanny and Lulu

I know I take Fanny and Lulu for granted sometimes.

I just expect them to be in the barnyard healthy and happy whenever I visit.  But of course that could change any day for so many different reasons.

I wonder if it would have made a difference to ten-year-old-me to know that the older I got the happier I’d be and that donkeys would be a part of my everyday life.

When I was about 10years old, I wanted a horse so bad (like so many little girls) I had an imaginary one.  Her name was Star and I’d hold her imaginary lead and walk her around.  She felt so real to me that it seemed as good as having an actual horse.

I don’t ride the donkeys or even walk around with them.  But  I brush them and clean their hooves and ears.  We sit together and communicate without words.

I suppose the silent agreement is that they guard the farm and be good to the other animals and people who live here and I make sure they always have food, water, and shelter.

Then there is the love.

Not that Fanny and Lulu would necessarily think of it that way.  But they do like  attention from Jon and me.  Enough that they ask for it by quietly walking up to us when we are in the barnyard, or nudging us with their noses, or braying at the gate.

People have lived with donkeys for thousands of years.  That connection may be forgotten if not tended to, but I believe it lives deep inside both humans and donkeys.

It has been reawakened in me.  And I only hope that if I get to grow old, I will be able to do it with Fanny and Lulu.  They will be forty (the life expectancy of a donkey) when I am eighty.  Perhaps it’s just a fantasy, like my horse Star, but at least I can still imagine the reality I desire.

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