Oh, those pesky donkeys.
I guess, because of their recent fame through the blog GoodMorning Gloucester, the donkeys in our barnyard suddenly think the rules of the farm no longer apply to them. To say their heads have swelled is a mild exaggeration. It used to be just their bellies.
Today, for example, after pretending they were eating regular grass in the regular field as they regularly do each regular morning — and as soon as I had left them to trek up for the regular morning paper — they headed straight into the bush where they had been stealthily working on an escape path for days, tunneling through to freedom on the other side of their patch of woods.
One donkey, Abe — the mellow one — always leads the excitable other, Zack, wherever they go. So it’s always his fault, I suppose, when they pull their equine escapades.
There’s only one method that really works to recapture them in the field. Out come the peppermint candies that we save up from Christmases past just for these occasions.
They can hear the crinkle of the plastic wrappers the length of a football field away, get curious, interested, then greedy and you can hook ‘em up and return them to the now-secured paddock. Except on this day, Zack decides that the crinkle of freedom is sweeter than the crinkle of candy and he bolts for the other end of the field in a kick-stepping, high speed gallop.
This, naturally kicks the formerly well-behaved farm pooch to throw off his best behavior and charge off after him, barking and grinning and joining in the mayhem. Off they go, the donkey kicking in the air with his hind legs as if he was in some old time cartoon show, bellowing away as if he was really in a panic. And who can tell, because they are soon long gone — the whole insane, barking, Hee-Hawing parade heading off down the country road towards the sea, completely ignoring our calls.