Friday, June 29, 2012

Daisy turns 30!


From The Friendly Beasts:

"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown,
"I carried His mother up hill and down;
I carried her safely to Bethlehem town."
"I," said the donkey, shaggy and brown.


Five years ago, I wrote about the loss of our donkey, Juno. In the time since, our other donkey, Daisy has continued to go from strength to strength, as they say. She had gotten thin, and we were advised to begin feeding her a 'senior' donkey food. It has worked wonders. She is stocky and healthy. She runs down the hill when she knows Tom is letting the animals into the north pasture. She brays if she doesn't see 'her' sheep and goat, and goes off to find them. She turns a fierce eye on Piglet and Lexi when they come up the hill with Matt and Margaret.




I have an old yellowed article from The Wall Street Journal which begins 'Coyotes beware. Killer donkeys are on guard.' It goes on to say
Guard donkeys are no good for a bank or warehouse: they like people too much. But they're boffo [isn't that a great word?!] for protecting livestock. Sheepherding is a specialty because donkeys quickly identify with the herd, and they hate dogs, foxes, and coyotes - sheep's natural predators…
Donkeys do indeed love people. Daisy loves to walk right up to someone and nuzzle.


This is the way to feed donkeys or horses, with a flat hand, so they can't bite it. I brought out carrots to celebrate her big day.



Here is almost six-year-old Margaret, whose own 30th birthday is next month.


The bill of sale from July 5, 1988 - we bought them from a woman a few towns away

32 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Daisy. I am so glad that she has a small flock to shepherd. What fun.

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    1. She is fun! You should see her roll!

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  2. Such a lovely post...I was immediately enamored when I read the verse you chose to accompany her birthday at the top. How well I remember it from my childhood.

    I drove through the country today with my father, as we used to together all the days of my life. He was a cattleman for the Chicago Union Stockyards, and knew practically every farmer in northern Illinois. I experienced such peace driving through the still rural roads of DeKalb, looking at the corn, the grasses, the wheat. I love farms. I love the animals.

    A very Happy Birthday to Daisy, and perhaps you could give her a sugar cube with her carrots for me? Unless that's bad for her health. xo

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    1. The Friendly Beasts is on a Peter, Paul, and Mary album.
      http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2007/12/todays-christmas-cda-holiday.html

      Such a nice ride you had. I love it that people still go for rides.

      If I'd had a sugar cube I would have given it to her!

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    2. Thanks for the link! I remember that song so well, it's really beautiful.

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    3. That whole album is really, really wonderful. Would you like me to burn a copy for you?

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  3. Happy Birthday dear Daisy,Happy Birthday to You! And many more!
    Lovely post as always. In our neigh---borhood, lots of donkeys have their own horse to protect.
    They make a good team.
    Mary

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    1. We had a horse for many years. I do love them.

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  4. Such a nice birthday way to acknowledge Daisy's 30th birthday. In fact, it is like a birthday card.

    Happy Birthday Daisy.

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    1. It's a lotta years to be living for an animal. Not many get to. That's why the phrase donkey's years. :<)

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  5. Happy Birthday to Daisy. I had no idea that donkeys lived so long or that they liked people. I've only been close up to a donkey in Egypt and I wasn't so sure they loved people there since they had to work so hard.

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    1. Funny you mention Egypt since I am re-reading the first in the Amelia Peabody series by Eliz. Peters, and she mentions the poor condition of the donkeys; and of the children's eyes as well.

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  6. How very, very sweet! I love that picture with Margaret and the donkeys. Happy Birthday, Daisy! Here's to the next 30 years :-)

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    1. I wonder how long they can live. We'll see. She is very healthy and happy now.

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  7. Happy Birthday, Daisy! I wish you lots of carrots and many happy returns.

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  8. Oh, I loved this. I love donkeys. I've never had one, but I always thought they were darling. We do have neighbors up the road who have several. I didn't know they were good guard dogs. Learn something new everyday from blogs.~~Dee

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    1. 'Darling' is the perfect adjective. I wonder if your neighbors keep only donkeys or if they have other animals, too.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Daisy!! Love the picture with Margaret, the turning 30 girl, as is my own girl - turning 30 in September. How can that be?

    Love your new header picture. Colors galore!

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    1. I don't know how it can be! Especially when I think how young they were when you and I first met all those years ago.

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    2. She looks marvelous for 30! ;) I had to laugh at the senior donkey food, though. Annie-dog has been enjoying her senior chow, too. And she's only 9!

      Love that sweet photo of Margaret... She and Sam will be 30 this year and Amy in another year and a half. Amazing how time flies, eh?

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    3. I've wondered about getting Sadie the older dog food. She'll be 8 in October, but seems more elderly than that. It's a lot of work being part Rotty. Much guarding and protecting to do. :<)

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  10. Oh -- it's lovely that Daisy is celebrating such a wonderful birthday and that she has her own flock to take care of.

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  11. Happy Birthday, Daisy!!! I'm so glad to hear that you've fattened up and are making sure the sheep mind their manners!!!

    Loved the photos and the background info on Daisy. Now I would love to have one!! Our neighbor's goat used to sleep on our deck throughout the summer months...I miss him! It's interesting to hear that donkeys don't like dogs or coyotes!!! We have a big courtyard in the middle of our school and two teachers won a grant to revitalize the spot with trees, plants, and stuff. I've been telling my one teacher friend that I was going to put a goat in there, but now I think I will put a donkey in there instead!!!

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    1. My goat is nothing but trouble. Gets out of the pasture. Eats flowers, corn, peas. Good thing she's cute. :<)

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  12. Happy birthday, Daisy! May you have many more.

    On another subject...I just requested "Wildwood" through our interlibrary loan system in Maine. Looking forward to reading it.

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    1. The farrier came today and is very pleased with her condition.
      I am thrilled you are going to read Wildwood. You'll feel like a kid again!

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