Many people will be familiar with the popular family game of ‘Jenga’.It involves building a tall tower out of blocks and then inviting each player to remove a block in a way that does not cause the tower to fall. If you extract a block, and the tower falls: you lose.
Jon and his 16 year old son Thomas have developed a variant on the classic game of Jenga. They call it Pooh Jenga. The game requires four players, two human and two donkey. Both human players place an empty wheelbarrow in the centre of their paddock. Using collection buckets and mini rakes they will then muck out the paddock, returning to the wheelbarrow each time a bucket is full to empty its contents. Each time a bucket is emptied by a human player, the wheelbarrow gets fuller and that person is ‘on’ until the next bucket is emptied.
The role played by the two donkeys, Dillon and Gilbert, is to knock over the wheelbarrows. It is a challenge they relish and are particularly skilled at. The later they leave it, the fuller it gets, and the more arduous the role for the loser, who then has to refill the wheelbarrow.
Tactics run amok in the game. Ideally you empty your bucket just before your opponent can empty his, maximising the time the donkeys have to play their part before you are ‘on’ again. Recently Jon lost spectacularly and only discovered sometime after the event, and after his son had stopped laughing, that Thomas had, upon emptying a particularly full bucket, also hidden a carrot directly under his wheelbarrow! It’s a high stakes game, with no prizes for coming second.