Saturday, October 29, 2005

Donkey Tale - Name Games

My donkey, impishly grinned and said, "you don't know my name, do you?" "no," I answered. "Well," he mused, knowing I was embarrassed at neither knowing nor having tried to know, after all I could have asked. Trying to set it right I bit my lower lip and said in a barely audible voice, "what is your name?"

"Well," he teased, "it is not sweetie, or babe, or little donkey, and it most certainly is not you stubborn old thing." I tried to mutter an apology, again, he stood there, grinning.

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"You can be insufferable." I was nearly crying.
"You've nearly made her cry" came a small voice just to the side of me. I was quite shocked as I was not aware that the geese in the gypsy camp were also able to speak.

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"You can speak too?" "If you are willing to really listen, we can be heard to speak," the goose explained. "I'm sorry I did not mean to be insensitive, but since I did not know you could speak it seemed silly to ask you your names. Still I am truly sorry if any of the things I've called you made you feel hurt. Would you tell me now please, what are your names?"

"Mine is Ginny," said the goose, "and my grinning friend the donkey is Doncaster Grey, he likes to tease, don't feel too badly" with that ginny crawled into my lap like a cat, she was a lovely and affectionate goose. The donkey was still grinning and making faces.

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"Alright, Doncaster Grey, what is it?" "Well," started the donkey while shuffling his donkey feet in the dirt, "I've been thinking I should like to have a Halloween costume too, just as the humans do. I thought I'd like to be and angel, after all I already have wings." It seemed like a fair enough request and after a bit of consideration I took Ginny off my lap and made a few changes to have Doncaster go from just plain old flying and talking donkey to an angel donkey.

Some glitter in the wings and sparkly eyelashes glued on and a halo fashioned from tin foil and wire. "Would you mind very much, marm, sketching me in costume, to remember the moment by?" so this is what I sketched. Donkeys can be very silly.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Donkeys sing around the Golden Throne

The Secretary has put this photo into the Donkeys archives. The Union sang for the Gypsy performance.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Augustus and Moonbeam Hero Archetypes

Baba said it 'would all end in tears' and right now she is far from happy. Le Enchanteur will need to watch her back because Baba is not someone to toy with. Turning Baba into a purple dragon is not one of le Enchanteur's better ideas, especially when Augustus and Moonbeam are playing out their hero archetypes. Could be interesting come Halloween!

Dorothy Donkey

Dorothy Donkey
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
The Secretary: May I present Dorothy, our newest, youngest donkey who has already taken her employer on a journey? Dorothy is noted for her sweet disposition and dainty manners.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Shared Bodily Warmth

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Quite a day at the gypsy camp yesterday, after a few hours I was done for the day. My donkey's welcome bodily warmth soon had me drop into a slumber on his broad little back. A good thing these donkeys know as well as we where to take us. He took me to my favourite clearing where I fell into a deeply satisfying sleep, dreaming of markets and fine wares and new friends.

Note from the Boss Donkey

My secretary who is typing this had to admit that she only got 85 % at the Secretarial College and is not quite as competent as the Secretary of the Ladies' Detective Agency. I therefore apologize for her spelling errors in the preceeding document. Signed with a hoof print, the Boss


Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Gumnut, the dragon has landed on the Island, promising to come in peace and good will but the Boss Donkey has questions and the Great White Owl wants a guarantee that Gumnut will hold his breath near any feathers. The Secretary has provided the friendly dragon with a tiny island where he can remain offshore until the performance. He has provided the guaranty and we have given him a microphone to talk to the owls. The Secretary who has been reading the stories from the Gypsy Camp and would otherwise have doubts herself not having an association with dragons up to now.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Donkeys' Union Song: Notice to all members, The Secretary

The Donkeys' Union has been asked to sing at the concert in the Gypsy Camp. Jim Cornish was commissioned by the Boss to dig up the words of the original Donkeys' song. Here are the lyrics Jim found. Unfortunately the score seems to be missing some parts so we will have to find a new tune. The Boss and the Owl are excellent choreographers so there will be no problem for the dancers. All members not currently on the road are expected to be at the Donkey Port by nine tomorrow night to complete preparations and learn the song. Positively no excuses for absence accepted. Here are your words set them to memory before the meeting.

The Donkeys Union Song

Come comrades join the chorus
of the donkeys’ serenade
Let us rouse the hottest passions
of us donkeys on parade

Tell the world we’re members
of a glorious old tradition.
We’re the good old Donkey’s Union
full of enterprise and ambition.

We’ve been on the job for ages,
carried Moses and the Great One
in the mountains, plains or deserts
where it frizzles or it freezes

Now we’re loaded with experience
and wisdom of the ages
so we’re not just beasts of burden
or some smudge on history’s pages.

Just ask any Jack or Jenny
what it’s like to be an ass.
They’ll swell with pride and tell you-
we’ve got culture, we’ve got class.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Preparing for the entertainent at the Gypsy concert

Practicing for the dancing
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Wi a wee drap and some memory the Secretary is practicing for the big night wi a wee bit o'the Scot
in the dancing

Friday, October 21, 2005

The honors go to those who do

In the face of perceived danger our two donkeys rescued their rider. One or two of their friends are a bit envious but that is to be expected. The Secretary

Walk in the desert

Walk in the desert
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
The road is long
and straight across the Nullabar
What will the day bring
our seekers and the gentle beasts?

Augustus and Moonbeam in Court

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Augustus and Moonbeam have been called to present themselves before the court. Judging by the looks on the faces of everyone I am not sure if their altercation with Bamboodle has won them such praise from their peers.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So They Do Fly!

Quite the sight. I do hope they are trained not to relieve themselves while in the air?

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chain of Command

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Clearly no-one is accepting responsibility here. Boss Donkey, Boss Owl, humble Secretary who suddenly only works here and Shrek like Donkey's chattering! No wonder it is mayhem here at Donkey Headquarters. An odd apple core or feather is, frankly, the least of our worries. I have spoken to the Amazon Queen. She thinks it is all too hard and if she pretends no-one has told her of the chaos she will not have to take responsibility. Who has she been taking lessons from?

Moonbeam and Augustus

Moonbeam and Augustus
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Moonbeam and Augustus arrive at the Gypsy camp with their beloved employer who has been invited to spend the night with the Gypsy Princess, Ravenna in her special caravan. The Secretary sends her best regards and hopes to be with them soon.

Please Explain Madame Secretary

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What is Jack's game Madame Secretary? Do you have no control over the creatures who belong to your union? I mean really Madame! I have long wondered about your control over at that room you call an office, and now, I fear, my suspicions have been confirmed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In the Water and on the Shore

My invitation to skinny dipping was answered by a bevy a ladies and chatter and laughter skated across the water to Owl Island and the whole of the shore for miles. The water was cool. Our donkeys hawed and honked on the shore.

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Blue lipped we hurried out after a few minutes to dry off and warm up. Someone came up with a box of goodies (much of it chocolate, a fire was quickly built from deadwood, so dry it lit with little work. We swapped stories of how we got here and we thought we might go next. It was late when we each left to find a bed for the night. I chose mine right there, under the stars and by the fire. My is donkey, part guardian and part pet, still keeping me company.

Weekend One

What an exciting weekend! Friday was movie night and I borrowed a copy of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." Not exactly Gypsy dancing but a lot of fun. The only "downer" was that 'quoise wanted to know why all those men weren't off to war somewhere. They did draw some parallels between the semi-make-believe in the story and what everyone does on the Silk Road. Jade comment that the movie was really a fairy tale. Coral was upset at first that everyone was pretty and handsome and no one ever was every shown with disabilities or huge or tiny like "real people," but later said that in love stories people always looked like you wanted them to, and that was OK.

Part of Saturday was set aside to work on costumed for Halloween. They don't go door to door much after dark, but are excited about all of the kids coming here. They make all of their own outfits out of grocery bags with stuff glued all over, plus a trip to the thrift store. I overheard comments about their "other costumes" and was happy discover that the understand they can create any costume the wish for the Gypsy party. I am hoping they might plan on even being something else physically as well and completely break the chains of "definition by others", which is a reoccurring theme for me.

Surprise! A friend called to alert me that a visitor from a certain 'state agency' was stopping by. We do not fall under their authority as a group home and they have no legitimate reason for a call or inspection. That, of course, makes no difference. They want to have everything under their control and "can't understand" why we don't take advantage of their services. Yes, we could use the money assistance, but don't want their interference. I suspect that one of the girl's mothers is behind it. None of them have any legal custody and one is in prison. They resent that they have to call and plan a visit. I don't blame them really, but have to follow the court orders and father's directions. The girls can call them any evening they wish (free cell phone long distance), but rarely care to. Anyway, Mr. Andrews came to call.

The warning gave us a chance to straighten up a bit, though the house is always in better shape than most homes with teen-age girls. These aren't really, but … They have set hygiene programs and chores. I did cheat and arrange for a late breakfast of pancakes with "goodies" cooked in. Everyone gets to good their own with very creative designs and ingredients. Bits of sausage and pineapple seem reasonable, but I don't have to eat the ones with green pepper, olives, cherries and M&Ms. Mr. Andrews did! It was lot's of fun. He even thought it was funny when 'quoise insisted on wearing a shower cap to make "fresh squoze" orange juice.

He commented on the age of our van and TV set and asked the girls what they did for fun. I know he meant field trips and free movies and amusement parks and such. I was very proud of the girls. Here are some snatches -- you guess who was speaking.

"We go to the movies all the time. Tuesday nights we get to pick one and Fridays Nessie gets to pick one."

"Don't you go to the big cinema complex?"

"Too loud and the other people aren't very polite about Jade wanting two seats and Coral having to sit on the isle with her leg sticking out."


"Have you taken any trips to anyplace exciting?"

"Last week we went to Australia and lived in a cave."

"And we had a picnic with a lady from Canada like the geese, except we had ravens"

"Australia? How did you get there?"

"With donkeys, silly. We could take a plane but they don't talk"


"So, Ms. Kness, do you read them a lot of kid's books? Have them watch a lot of children's programs on TV?" ( I am sure the girls were oblivious of his tone.)

"We watch the history channel sometimes."

"I like those programs with real animals the best. That is like going to Africa too."

"Nessie doesn't let us watch much. But we all like to play games together more anyway."

"Don't you like to watch sports? Go to ball games?"

"We go to Little League games sometimes. We get to cheer and eat anything we want and don't have to choose team."

"and the drop balls and strike out like we do. Sometimes the coaches let us play a bit before the game."

"Yeah! And Coral has a pretend runner. If she hits the ball the coach picks her up and runs the bases with her."

"They have real good pitchers too. They always throw so we can try to hit it. Not to Jade though. She can really clobber it"

"What sports do you play Mr. Andrews?"

Monday, October 17, 2005

On today's BBC News

The Donkeys' Boss is proud to report that the BBC news this morning has a photo of the Pakistani Army's animal team that includes many of our cousins. The Secretary

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gypsy Camp - The Romanyi

Gypsy Camp - The Romanyi

My idea of a gypsy. This from a Theatre Magazine and is so exotic!

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Moonbeam and Augustus

I had just settled into my sleeping bag after a long day on the trail when I heard a commotion outside my tent. There was much shuffling and braying and shaking of the tent flap. My first thought was to snuggle down inside my sleeping bag and ignore it, but oh my goodness, it was such a commotion.

I'd spent the day, the first on my way to the Gypsy Camp, on the trail and when I finally bedded down I was tired, short of patience, and dusty. In short, I needed a bath and I needed sleep.

I struggled out of my sleeping bag and unzipped the tent flap to see my donkey friend, Moonbeam, and with her another bigger donkey, dark of coat, and with ears twice the size of normal. Now we all know that donkey's eras are big … but this one's were bigger than big. They were enormous. Moonbeam, her white coat gleaming in the moonlight, gave me a toothy smile and in donkey language, which I seemed to understand well, though how, I do not know, introduced me to Augustus who was to accompany her and me to the Gypsy Camp.

"Why," I asked, "do I need another donkey? You and me, well, we got along famously last time."

"You never know," Moonbeam said, her ears twitching, when we might need some extra wisdom and Augustus is wise beyond his years."

"Well," I said with a grin, "if his ears are any indication of his wisdom, then…."

Augustus lowered his head and a tear fell from his right eye.

"Be careful," Moonbeam said. "Augustus is self conscious about his ears … too many people, and the other donkeys make fun of him."

"I'm sorry, Augustus." I reached for his bristly mane and rubbed it and between his ears. He nodded and gave me a toothy smile.

"We have far to go," Moonbeam said, "and since Augustus doesn't fly, we have to hoof it."

"That's okay, but I have to get some rest first … I'm just plain tuckered."

"We are, too," Moonbean said, looking at her companion. "We had to hoof it to catch up to you. You made good time for a human on foot."

Augustus nodded his head in agreement. "We'll bed down over there." He pointed with one ear toward a large tree at the edge of the clearing.

"Good night then,"

The two donkeys, one as white as moonlight the other as dark as the deepest shadow, turned and made their way to the base of the tree.

I watched them settle down before returning to the warmth and comfort of my sleeping bag.

©October 16, 2005

Saturday, October 15, 2005

but who asked

Em was looking over my shoulder and immediately burst out in song!
Great, except for ...

"Birdy, birdy in the sky,
dropped some whitewash in my eye.
I am glad, am I, am I;
that talking donkeys do not fly"

maybe that is where 'OOBLEK' comes from


Long Ago

The girls are working on their Holloween costumes. I am on the 'puter doing paperwork,
but can easily switch to my open Word document and enter snatches of conversation.

Jade -- "I wish that the donkeys could fly into tomorrow. Then we could get to the Gypsie party sooner."

'quoise -- "Silly, silly. Then your costume would not be done.

Nessie -- "Nice try. You still haven't finished sweeping the porch."

Coral -- "I think flying backwards would be funner. The we could go to long ago and be at a costume ball with a prince."

'quoise -- "You mean that movie with the sword fighters?"

Coral -- "Maybe, but I remember lot's of movies about people in masks pretending they don't know each other."

Jade -- "No. They just do that for us audience. If we didn't know who they are it would be real confusing. Like that "Midnight Dream" play at the little theater."

Coral -- "Nessie. When doctors and nurses were those costumes, are they pretending?"

'quoise -- "Gypsies wear constumes all the time. They aren't pretending."

Progress Nonetheless

Starting off again today, too late in the day to fully get to where I am going but still feel I should make the effort. I passed the most amazing trees wearing lacy fungus skirts, patches of toadstools at their gnarled roots.

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The donkey still followed me, though not at my urging. Doing what could only be described as an awkward bunny hop and nose-nudging it dawned on me (I am none to quick on the uptake today), the donkey was trying to point something out to me.

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Quite surprising I found a doll, looking just like the one my mother made from my dad's old corduroy pants. That was a half centurey ago, and miraculously this doll has never been lost nor needed mending.

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Her name was Jamaica.

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I've no idea how she got beneath the tree, all they way out here. I last left her sitting on a shelf in my hallway. Jamaica has always been profundly important to me, representing constancy, after all she is always there, even when I am away and forget to pack here, somehow she still is there. Gifts made with love are never lost.

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I suppose I've taken her for granted and not noticed her wandering off. Much like this donkey, he blends well against old walls and cliffs. I haven't seen wings on this one, perhaps they are folded close when not in use? He'sgot the most beautiful eyes. Far more intelligent than one would suppose a donkey would be.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Archibald Archibald

Archibald Archibald jpg
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Archibald Archibald, the flying dancer
does the Donkey highland fling
high high in the sky
just for the girls, I wonder why
it's so hard to draw Archie. The Secretary

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Donkeys on my sketchpad

All afternoon I've been coming up donkeys, one after another. They don't have names, and I'm not sure what they are doing here. I'd no idea I could even draw a convincing donkey, so they are here of their own accord. They are not your flying variety, unless the wings come later.

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Later maybe some of these won't mind standing still fo a little colouring.

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Good to be here.


The Secretary arriving at the picnic

Hello Coral, Jade and Tourqoise, I hope you are having a good time on the journey. My dancing donkey's name is Archibald Archibald. His specialty is the donkey highland fling because he is a Scottish donkey. He often uses his wings when he dances. The Sec.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Flying Donkeys

We went hunting for pictures for the girls' scrapbooks.
Jade wishes to know which of these is "gooder"?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Destiny difficulty

Thank you for your kindness but Destiny has read the message and is putting up a continual argument. I am afraid she has a terrific superiority compex. To be sheltered with mules has put her into a state of unmanageability that I can not seem to change. I may not be able to work this out. She seems to think she knows the way to the gypsy camp so I have finally agreed to let her try first and if we get lost I will put my foot down. I hope by that time you will still have a mule left. I hear everyone is already at the wake and I feel terrible not to be there to lend my support.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A humble request

I know you are extremely busy right now but I was wondering if I could drop off my horse Destiny for the time, in your care. while I am on the silk road. At the moment I am just leaving the cave of the Enhantress at my first dawn on the Road to Ithaka and would like to walk a while. As your mules are magical I guess I had better mind the Enhantress once more and try out one after I have walked a while, so also please find one that would fit my spirit. I look forward to seeing you. Will you be at the Gypsy camp? (That is if I ever find it) Love, Jane

Saturday, October 08, 2005


The girls would like to know something of the donkeys. Where they came from, what they like to eat, what they did last summer, kind of thing. When the girls go to a new work place or home they always have to share these things as an introduction. Personal problems are never discussed, but new friends are easily made based on shared past events and liking the same flower or not liking mustard.

I am in trouble! Our Internet searching for pictures of carts, donkeys and such let to the discovery that "gunnie sack" is not correct. It seems that "gunnie" means "sack". Now they go around naming everything I do as double. Bag-bag, car-car, pencil-pencil. Hopefully this game will end before we leave.


Covered wagon for three

Covered wagon for three
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
The Secretary to those who must bring friends who are handicapped and require more comfort than ordinary transport by donkey: Our covered wagons are small enough to be drawn by two donkeys. They may be flown but this procedure is not recommended. You will remember that our donkeys speak your language so can be directed by voice.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Morgaine's Surprise.

A donkey, hhmm, at Camelot we ride horses, donkey's cannot be that different, can they? Well, if I am to begin this journey I guess I had better get moving.

I decided to befriend the donkey allocated to me and grabbed a handful of grass with dandeloins mixed in, I offered it to him and watched him eat as I stroked his maine. 'I shall call you, Gallahad and we shall be trusting companions upon this journey'.

'Thank you, Morgaine, I shall enjoy your companionship and care but please don't think less of me because I am a donkey and not a horse'. Morgaine nearly fell over with shock - a donkey that can not only talk but hear her thoughts too!

'Oh no, Gallahad, I do not think less of you! You're obviously a sensitive donkey and you, you can talk and read my thoughts! How can this be? Oh, but I am glad Gallahad, now the journey will not be so lonely, it's nice to have someone to talk too'.

'It is good, Morgaine, that we have sorted this matter out, the journey is long and far, so to attempt it feeling inferior in any way is not good for you or me. You are not alone Morgaine, we are together and you shall meet many traveler's along the way'.

'Do you know where we are going, Gallahad? What is our route, our first stop'? 'I believe it is the Gypsy Camp, there is a wake there for Megan's mother. Now get some sleep, we shall begin at dawn'.

With that Morgaine pulled her warm cloak from her bag and laid down to sleep upon the soft green grass. She was soo tired and excited at the same time. 'Goodnight Gallahad'. 'Goodnight Morgaine'.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

An Auspicious Beginning

Amelia, the overly loquacious, seemingly caffeinated rag doll, meets Annabelle the donkey, whose patience has been stretched thin.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Jack gives advice

Jack gives advice
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Memo from the Secretary: Jack's advice to Treasa should be given to all riders:"Rule Number 1: Relax! Your fear and uncertainty transmits to your fine noble steed, letting me--I mean, him--know he's the boss. Rule Number 2: Match your body's rhythm to your donkey's gait. The ride will be smoother and easier this way--for both of us. And Rule Number 3: You've got to be smarter than the average tree. Be aware of your surroundings too."

Job assignments

Memo from the Secretary to the Boss and Members: Agnes is to be ready to leave with Susan Dogget on the new journey. We wish you both good fellowship and a good trip.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Letter To the Secretary of Donkeys Incorporated

A Letter To the Secretary of Donkeys Incorporated

Dear Secretary,
Hello from the open road. My name is Treasa O'Leary, a traveler along the Soulfood Silk Road...but might already know that. I wouldn't be a wee bit surprised if you did, the way this fantastic adventure is constantly keeping me in a state of surrealness. I never know what expect next!

*shakes head in amazement* Certainly not a talking donkey! Jack has made the trip quite...interesting and humorous thus far--we've only been on the road two days. He's been helpful at times as well. And that's why I'm writing you, to tell you what an amazing trip this is going to be with him as a mount and to thank you.

I don't know how you choose which mount for which traveler, but, in my case, you hit gold. You see, I've never ridden a donkey before in my life; only horses a handful of times and not since my childhood at that. The longest I've ever ridden one has been two or three hours and afterwards I was saddle-sore for two days!

*as if the mere mention of it is their cue, all my various aches and throbbing pains intensify and I shift stiffly, trying to find a more comfortable position on my sleeping bag, unable to hold back a low moan*

*silent wry laugh as I resume writing in the combined light of flickering fire and flashlight* I'm in much the same position as I was then. Saddle-sore. But Jack is being an awfully good sport about it, thank goodnees. Right from the start it was painfully obvious to both of us and to my silent guide (whose name I've since learned is Ophelia) that I'm no natural horsewoman--or donkey rider. Jack's gentle swaying gait is as smooth and fluid as any donkey's could be. But until today, for the life of me, I couldn't establish a reasonably good rhythm that allowed me to move as one with him. My butt kept bouncing, up and down, up and down, hard on the saddle until my poor abused tailbone made its first throbbing protests. I felt like a Mexican jumping bean. *rolls eyes and shakes head in embarrassment*

Ah well. At least no one has laughed at this bobbing Irish lass yet--well, not very much and not because of my poor riding skills. For that, I have to give thanks. Jack has been really sweet and has been trying to give me pointers.

"Consider this a crash course in riding," he said after Ophelia helped pull me from the ground at his hooves that first day. We hadn't gone 20 feet down the road from the Enchantress' cave before I was bested by a low-hanging branch that caught me in the chest and knocked me from his saddle. "Rule Number 1: Relax! Your fear and uncertainty transmits to your fine noble steed, letting me--I mean, him--know he's the boss. Rule Number 2: Match your body's rhythm to your donkey's gait. The ride will be smoother and easier this way--for both of us. And Rule Number 3: You've got to be smarter than the average tree. Be aware of your surroundings too."

In my defense, I have to say I was in a state of shock when those leaves smacked me in the face and that branch connected with my breastbone! Jack had started talking--without warning--about the journey and introducing himself and Ophelia and her horse Nightshade. Who wouldn't be floored by a talking donkey when, where I come from, they don't speak?! Well, except for the ones in the Bible and Arabian Tales, but the one was from a parable I believe, the other from a fairy tale.

I gaped at his big gray-brown donkey face, blinking stupidly into his velvety brown eyes once I was back on my feet, repeating over and over, "He talks! He talks! My donkey talks!!"

Ophelia nodded, an amused look on her face. She went to Nightshade, who stood five feet up ahead, with his ebony neck craned right in our direction and dug through his saddlebags. On her way to the stallion she gave Jack an admonishing look. Pulling out medical supplies from one of the bags, she walked back toward me and doctored the few cuts and scrapes I'd sustained from the encounter with the olive tree. (I thought olive branches were supposed to be peaceful?) Once she was satisfied I was ok and taken care of, Ophelia nodded to herself decisively, gathered the box of bandages and ointment and rejoined Nightshade. Putting the things away she mounted the black stallion and motioned with her arm I should do the same.

"Yes, I talk," Jack said, gazing at me with what passes, I suppose, for patience in a donkey. "And you're quite the observer. We have a lot of miles to cover before we reach the Valley of the Temples, where we will be camping over the next few days before reaching the Gypsy Camp. Are you brave enough to try again?"

Dumbly I nodded, reaching behind me to check and make sure everything in my backpack was ok after having landed on the bag in my fall. I mounted and we were off again--albeit at a slower pace--the guide and her black stallion, Jack the donkey and me, the Irish Mexican jumping bean.

As I said, Jack has been sweet and pretty understanding, only making fun of me once in awhile, laughing his braying laugh as he watches me move stiffly about the campsite or if I do some clumsy thing like trip over an exposed tree root. "It was right in front of you, in plain view! You shouldn't read that book of Roman myths as you walk." He admonished just today as we took our lunch break.

I have to thank you. Despite moments like those, I'm sure you're well aware he can be quite amusing. I also have no doubt you already know he can hold entire coversations with himself, for Jack can talk and talk. And talk. I can't help but laugh when he gets going. By no means would this journey be dull or ordinary without him; he just adds to the the wonder and joy of it. So, with all my gratitude, thank you. He is a wonderful companion and mount, and I will take good care of him for as long as he is with me.

Treasa O'Leary, Awed, Amazed and Humble Explorer

*folds the letter written on the lavender stationery from the cave room and seals it in the matching envelope; writes the address on the front and hands it to a waiting raven who accepts it with its beak and a nod; spreading its dark wings it takes off and I shut the flashlight off, sliding and settling into my sleeping bag by the fire*

Monday, October 03, 2005

Practicing for the concert

Practicing for the concert
Originally uploaded by FranSb.
Secretary reports to Boss Donkey: The concert master, Dirk, has been travelling by wing to learn new music for the Hallowe'en Concert. Here is the dawn practice on the quay with the young owls in attendance. They have a dance routine in mind but must find a suitable choreographer.