The showing season for me runs from The Royal Highland in June to Glendale in August. For the rest of the year my donkeys enjoy a life of relative peace and tranquillity, except for one of my donkeys on two particularly important occasions. I am sure it is obvious which of these occasions I am writing about here.
My eldest son was at a Boys’ Brigade event when he was approached by the company Chaplain who asked,
“Robert, your mother doesn’t happen to have a spare donkey for Christmas?”
Never known to refuse a request, a couple of months later, Seonaid, our Nativity donkey was accompanied by Mary and Joseph in traditional dress as she marched down the Manse Drive towards the Kirk, which for the evening had become the Bethlehem stable. Along the way she was joined by the gift-bearing Wise Men and the “tea-towelled” Shepherds.
To the chorus of “Little Donkey” and by the light of a hundred torches Seonaid made her way along the ‘dusty road’ to the Church doors. Before the congregation entered the Church for the Service, Seonaid answered the obligatory photo-call.
I am sure that Seonaid was not the only donkey representing The Donkey Sanctuary across the country helping people to mark this special time of year. It always amazes me how patient Seonaid can be as countless hands stroked her and camera bulbs flashed around her.
As Seonaid embarked the trailer to return home later that evening laden with carrots and with, I am sure a huge smile I can imagine her only thought to be “Not long ‘til Palm Sunday.”