People often ask Phil and I if we have a favourite donkey among the 100+ donkeys we groom each week and of course we promptly say Nutty or Percy…or is it Barney? No – it has to be Spartan and Penny. Wait – it’s actually Judy and Sunshine in Shelter 3. Or is it Foaly and Dawney? Or Tuppence and Tom? No – it’s definitely Coco or Aramis or D’Artanyan. For sure it’s Poppy... or Teddy? Lucky? Junior? Drizzle? Oh I don’t know! In their myriad of different ways – all the donkeys are our favourites.
But there are three donkeys who we have known right from when they were just a few months old and we have been lucky enough to be able to help care for them every week for the past 3 years. They will be 4 years old in September/October this year – all grown up! Those of you who may have read my earlier blogs will know that rarely a week went by without me mentioning them – the three little donkeys - Ashley, Zena and Mr Khan.
I mention them in particular because one or two people have asked me how they are doing these days. Well they are living in Shelter 4 along with a whole herd of even younger donkeys and are enjoying their life together. They are still the closest of friends and we love them very much.
Mr Khan is a very gentle and well-behaved donkey who continues to watch dutifully over Ashley ensuring he doesn’t get himself into too much strife. He still keeps the proverbial protective hoof around Zena, and is rarely more than a few metres from her side.
Zena is utterly beautiful and utterly independent… and although the two boys are completely unaware of the fact – she’s actually the one in charge!
Ashley is a handsome young donkey who has matured and learned some impeccable manners – which he mostly remembers to apply! He still likes to help carry the grooming brushes around the field and yard, as well as other such “helpful” tasks whenever the opportunity presents itself - such as undoing the rope and helping Zena escape her head collar whilst she is being groomed.
So although we probably don’t have a particular favourite donkey… perhaps Ashley, Zena and Mr Khan come pretty close!