What I ended up with was a young jenny who proved to have been bred several months shy of her first birthday. A lovely, but extremely underage little donkey who showed all the classic signs of imminent foaling for at least three months along with full blown false labor a month before she actually delivered. Not exactly stress free or easy.
We all survived that very long and protracted ordeal mostly intact. You may recall that Ramsey lost the very tip of his tail and the tip of one ear to Emma's overzealous mothering once he finally arrived, but hey, what's the tips of a couple of appendages in the grand scheme right?
Four months of relative peace were then followed by a frantic, life or death trip to Cornell, the momentary (thankfully transitory) threat of brain abscesses, surgery and vet bills of such staggering proportions that I haven't yet had the courage to add them all up. All this followed up by another 4 months of extremely intensive, difficult, expensive care. So much for cheap, easy and hardy.
I'm not complaining mind you. I love my donkeys and I am very grateful to have them. I love what they have brought into my life, particularly all of you out there reading this who have also come to love these donkeys. I am glad to have learned so much about these incredible creatures who I used to dismiss so casually and I remind myself often lately that education is never cheap. It's just that I have been thinking back to my silly notion of a cheap, easy, hardy companion animal and know that God must be laughing his a** off.
Do you ever wonder what it sounds like when God laughs? I think I know. I think it sounds a lot like this....