The Donkey Sanctuary was a happy, bustling place on Easter Sunday, full of excited children following the Easter Egg hunt, their parents and grandparents gallantly following in their wake. Some of the donkeys were watching somewhat bemused from their sunny paddocks, but most were either munching the warm spring grass or lying sleepily in the sunshine.
Meanwhile, the Meet and Greet Team donkeys were rushed off their hooves welcoming the steady stream of visitors coming into the yard. Jubilee was in his element of course, spending as much time as was needed with each visitor he greeted. Petrina and Coriander, Little Pippa, Sally, Corrie, Jack, Rosie, Beamish, Holly and Tom were all doing their best to ensure every visitor got their cuddles and a photograph!
Deciding the yard was too busy for me, I headed out across the back yard and made my way up the hill towards a small group of donkeys who had taken refuge away from the “madding crowds”. Half-way up the hill I met Laurel and Hardy who were happy to give me the time of day while I gave them a neck scratch and ear-rub each. Moving on I met Hugo, who always loves to give donkey cuddles and today was no exception. Hugo is such a friendly donkey, it’s always good to spend some time with him, especially on a warm, sunny hill-side on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Near the top of the hill I came across several donkeys lying down in the sunshine, or in Norman’s case – sprawled out flat on the grass.
I walked over to him and the only movement he made was to lazily open one eye. Once he realised it was only me, he just as lazily closed his eye again and drifted back to wherever he’d momentarily surfaced from.
Leaving Norman to dream his way through the afternoon, I moved over to Benny, who was also dozing. This was quite an unusual stance for Benny, as being one of the youngest in New Barn he is more likely to be seen either jousting with Norman or tormenting and chasing Teddy around the field. Given the opportunity, he also enjoys the odd game of tug ‘o war with the feed buckets! This afternoon though, Benny was just “shooting the breeze” and generally chilling out.
Finally, I found Pebbles, who was perfectly angled so she could survey all the hustle and bustle down in the centre of the Sanctuary, whilst lying in the peaceful silence high above it all at the top of the hill. Sitting down next to her, together we watched the crowds of people moving from yard to walkways and beyond. We saw a huddle of people at a distant fence admiring Nelly – the unmistakable large, grey Andalucian donkey, while even further away another large group were watching the diet donkeys up at Shelter 1.
It was the only place to be on a sunny Easter Sunday afternoon, sitting with beautiful Pebbles high on the hill, with only the sound of bird song and the occasional snore from Norman breaking the peace and quiet. It was a perfect Pebbles-eye view of The Donkey Sanctuary and I’m very grateful she allowed me to share it with her.