The Gentle Burros/Donkeys Have a Lot to Share
Last Friday, while the BLM concluded their farce of an Advisory Board meeting in D.C. and their helicopter stampede contractors fired up to end the free lives wild horses and burros in Nevada, Terry and I spent the day surrounded by loving, rescued equines at the Todd Mission Ranch only 15 miles from our farm. Marjorie Farabee, ranch equine Manager and Director of Wild Burro Affairs for Wild Horse Freedom Federation, had kindly asked us to stop by and check out the local four-legged inhabitants, some 100+ which does not include the rescued dogs and cats. I must admit, it was a moving experience.
Somehow I was not emotionally prepared for what washed over me once we drove onto the ranch and exited our truck; it was like a tsunami of emotions both spiritual and physical alike. Besides being lovingly assailed by the local barn cats and dogs the donks start to call out for attention with each one beginning to prance and dance in an effort to gain notice, even a paint colt jumped into action and started to chase his ball around the corral in hopes that we would stop by and share a few pats and scratches.
I didn’t know who to talk with first, it was overwhelming as it was obvious these guys were not only used to doling out large portions of love but they were most certainly used to receiving healthy, hands-on doses of affection, also. I guess the closest experience that I could compare it to would be when I offered to help a group of mentality challenged young people attend a field trip many years ago. As on Friday, I stepped out of my truck and was immediately surrounded by strangers who wanted to hug and hold me for helping out and being there for them. I was so moved that I returned to assist this group many times over as it did not make any difference how long it had been since I had seen them last they were always there with the hugs, laughter and total acceptance; you don’t get that sort of unchallenged love, en mass, many places in the world or times in your life. It could become addictive.
But back at the ranch we were treated to a muti-hour tour and introduced, by name, to dozens and dozens of curious and loving equines by Marjorie and ranch owner Johnnie, it was a most pleasant experience. (A few of the guys climbed into the back seat of our truck to come home with us but Marjorie caught them before we left.)
Being a horseman for many years I must confess that I knew little about donkeys outside of the fact that they are cute and their wild cousins, the burros, share the same torture and misfortune that our federally protected wild horses do at the hands of the renegade agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). And as of late Marjorie has been instrumental in bringing to light the deadly plight of the wild burros of Texas that are being hunted and gunned down by the Texas Wildlife and Parks Department in an effort to clear the way for the introduction of Big Horn Sheep for Big Money hunting by the Texas Bighorn Society…pretty bloody stuff and a painful contrast to the serene scene we were fortunate to embrace on Friday.
Donkeys, mules and rescued horses dot the ranch’s landscape and each one has a name while, likewise, each one has a preference between carrots or ginger snaps…this crew is pretty particular about treats and a pocket full of carrots will ensure that a bevy of braying donks will be joined at your hip for the extent of your visit.
We would like to thank Marjorie for what she does and also for joining our board of directors in an effort to fully round out our endeavor to be the legal voice for the wild equines of the United States. Please stay tuned for the transfer and update of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation website which will include timely and additional information regarding our mutual efforts to save and preserve what is left of the few wild burro herds. Many events are planned in the near future and our valued advocates will be the first to know.
Stop by Donkeys Can Do! http://www.donkeyscando.com/ where Majorie’s good friend and mascot “Abby” blogs about the latest occurrences in the wild and oftentimes turbulent world of the wild burros and domestic donkeys.
- Wild Burro Shooting Texas Parks and Wildlife to hold Annual Public Hearing (rtfitch.wordpress.com)