I have previously mentioned Benjamin, a Miniature Donkey, in the ‘About Jon Drews‘ page at my website, RedBarnProject. If I were to describe Benjamin in one word, that word would be ‘Imp’. Benjamin was an Imp, most certainly, but he was a donkey with a purpose. His purpose was to be a listening ear, the perfect friend. He never interjected his opinions or off-the-cuff advice. Benjamin just listened. We talked about a lot of stuff. That was another great thing about Benjamin. He was not a gossip!
Benjamin had another purpose. He was the leader of our little drove of donkeys. We had five including Amber Rose, Benjamin, Cora Sue, Elsie and little Maddie. Maddie was born on the farm and I had to actually assist with the birth. She became stuck and I had to gently, but with quite a lot of oomph, pull her. Mother, Cora Sue, and little Maddie were both fine! The miracle of life! I have to say, after Maddie was born, Cora Sue more or less took the reigns of the drove. Benjamin obligingly took second fiddle.
Living the dream with the drove
Donkeys are social creatures. I don’t know how it would go for them to live in solitude. They need companionship – as do we humans. Donkeys aren’t shy about their need for companionship. Always observant, they notice activity – and generally greet it with a loud bray. I remember the bray of Cora Sue. It reminded me of Jurassic Park! I’m certain folks could here her across the lake. Be that as it may, donkeys are typically quiet and unassuming. If they wanted my attention, a gentle tug on the back of my Carhartt jacket was all it took. But if you ignored them, prepare for a more assertive nip on the butt! Ouch.
Part of Benjamin’s purpose was to be a farm hand. He helped pick up sticks and would bring them to me. Of course, as I was gathering sticks in a wheelbarrow, I could expect that it would get ‘accidentally ‘ knocked over at least once in an outing. Benjamin. A donkey with a purpose – but also an Imp. When he acted up in this manner, you could see a smile spread across his lips. Sometimes he would curl his upper lip and shake his head. Imp.
Benjamin and his drove lived in the Red Barn when not out in the pasture. That drove was the Red Barn Project in it’s infancy. The Red Barn Project has been many things, but mostly it is a place to think, to dream, to collect thoughts and find my creative spirit. The donkeys made wonderful company as we shared and pondered these ideas. Great listeners, they are!
We can learn a great deal from donkeys, but mostly we can learn the value of a good friend and the vital importance of companionship. Until tomorrow, I wish for you peace.