How to feed a perpetually annoyed donkey

IMG_0701Harley spent his early and formative years in a desert eating bits of scrubby plants and tumbleweeds. Hard scrabble life and the life he was born into.

But you would never know he was born in the sagebrush and cactus given the way he behaves now. Apparently you can take the desert out of the donkey.

Harley has become the most delicate of flowers in his years living on a ranch in the middle of the middle of nowhere. He has very particular dietary needs and dietary habits.

  1. Do not under any circumstances pick up hay from the ground because it has dirt on it. The donkey will not eat “dirty” hay. How he didn’t starve in the desert is beyond me. I purposefully gave him hay with a little dirt and the royal prince walked away from me. No…he flounced. Harley flounces. You should see how he distains the mare when she eats the dirty hay.
  2. He enjoys tumbleweeds but they must be a particular size and he won’t eat them in front of the horses. He shuns the tumbleweeds if the horses are close (I must digress: when Dr. Doctor and his hired man told me about the tumbleweeds I thought they were having me on. Because boys love to tease girls, even if the boys are 52 and 70 and the girl is 54. I figured they would hand me a tumbleweed, step back with a nudge and a giggle, to watch the city girl tried to feed Harley who would give me a WTF side eye and bray at me.)
  3. Peppermints must be dessert because he won’t eat hay or tumbleweeds if he had a peppermint.
  4. Because peppermints are readily available in the Sonora Desert they are an important part of his majesty the donkey’s diet.

Do not mess with the feeding of the donkey. If you get things out of order or do it WRONG he flounces off with a loud bray that sounds much like:

“Oh NO YOU DID NOT JUST DO THAT…NONONONO! The hay is dir-TEY. YOU are giving me dir-TEY hay? How. Dare. You. I am a very important burro and I won’t eat hay from the dirt!!!” If he had thumbs he would do the arm wave/finger snap thing. I’m also sure he rolls his R’s as he speaks in feigned European accented English.

I firmly believe Harley channels the soul of a departed Diva Drag Queen from Paris or Berlin or Greenwich Village. I considered calling the pet psychic in Fort Collins to see if she does house calls. But Dr. Doctor would balk about such a thing so I think I’ll just play Harley show tunes and Judy Garland songs this afternoon to test the theory myself.

About Laura

When my nest emptied I moved from the big city to a little big town to tend to a ramshackle yellow house on the edge of town. These are my Yellow House Days.
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8 Responses to How to feed a perpetually annoyed donkey

  1. Haralee says:

    Too funny.Never knew a donkey could be so, so, endearing!


    • Laura says:

      He is sweet in a flouncy-picky-donkey way. When I arrive at the ranch I barely say hello to the boyfriend before I rush to the barn to see Harley and find Bea.


  2. I would so call that pet psychic. There’s a story there.


    • Laura says:

      LOL I thought of you while I was writing this. I think Dr. Doctor’s cowboy cred would be minimized if he had a pet psychic come out and visit with Harley.


  3. ace1028 says:

    What a cutie! I had no idea if this was actually going to be a post about a real donkey or a joke of some sort. 🙂 Love it, though. I love animals. This guy looks like a sweetie.


  4. I loved this! And what a great picture you’ve given us! Two snaps up!


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