03 March 2006

Posting that silly video reminded me of home. New Hampshire home, that is.

My grandparents raised sheep for many years and when I was in middle school (or maybe it was sixth grade...), they bought a donkey to help deal with the coyote problem (four eviscerated sheep in one night). This was fairly novel for the sheep farming people in our area, but it started a small trend, and now everyone who knows what's good for them has a "watchdonkey."

Donkeys are wicked smart, cautious, and they keep the flock around them (they'll even separate out new sheep until they're sure they're cool). They chase away would-be predators, and the only sheep fatalities Half & Half Farm had after getting Paco were ones who got out of his pasture.

Paco, is still around--though retired from the sheep-protecting business--braying like the dickens at all hours of the day and night (he's just happy to be alive, folks... he's got to make a joyful noise.), and spends his days escorting my cousins' ponies around the field.

One of my favorite columns in Slate is called "Heavy Petting," all about people's relationships with animals. Jon Katz, who also writes about his adventures with sheep and Border Collies, recently posted a column about his burgeoning herd of donkeys. Check it out. Be forewarned: there's a ridiculously cute picture of a baby donkey.

1 comment:

Flushy McBucketpants said...

you mean "ridonkulously"?