Monday, March 25, 2013

Life's Little Mysteries

Here are a couple of little mysteries I hope my wonderful readers can help me with....

Mystery 1:  Have I mentioned that Emma's tail has a 90 degree bend at it's very very end?  I have no pictures of this, you will have to take my word.  When I first got her, I figured her tail must have gotten broken at some point and didn't think much more about it.  However, Ramsey's tail is just the same.  He was born that way (trust me, I checked!) and, I am sure now, Emma must have been born that way as well.  So here is the question:  Do all donkeys have a kink at the end of their tails or just my extra special donkeys?

Mysetery 2:  Here is a puzzle that has occupied my mind for many many years (yes, these are the kinds of little snags that my brain gets hung up on all the time and yes, it does get tiresome from time to time, but it is what it is.  I'm too old to fix it now).  When horses and donkeys drink (and remember that they are physically incapable of breathing through their mouths so think about the mechanics of just how they do manage to drink.  see, there's another little snag!)  some of them (like Emma) keep their tongues tucked tightly inside their mouths.  See, no tongue...

while others....

So here is what I wonder:  is this a genetic thing or a learned thing?  I'd really like to know what Ramsey and Emma's father does with his tongue.  Clearly, Ramsey did not learn this from Emma, but it is also a fairly new behavior.  He only started doing this a month or two ago.  Which kind of has me thinking that he learned it on his own somewhere along the way, but then again.....  It will likely remain one of those little mysteries that take up space inside my mind and that is OK.  Not every question needs an answer.

However, I am curious.  So, my fellow donkey and horse owners, a couple of questions for you:

1.  Tongue inside or outside?  Also, if you know, which did the parent(s) of your critter chose?

2.  Does your donkey's tail have a kink at the end?

Inquiring minds want to know.


  1. I had to run out and check their tails! None of my 3 have a kink?! But my dog Gracie does??!!

    I've never actually pondered the tongue thing, I'll have to pay more attention!

    Good Luck in working out life's mysteries!

  2. Good questions, I will have to watch my ponies drink to see what they do, but as far as parentage I will never know.
    The tail thing is interesting.

  3. Puzzling!

    Q1 - Dragon mule tongue in but drinks and then holds the water in her mouth for ages after finishing at the trough, looks like she is rinsing?! Mini mule pokes his tongue out... a lot!

    Q2 - no kinks in mule tails and not seen any obvious ones in the donks I know... a mystery!

  4. I have three mini donkeys, two jennys and one jack. Only the jack sticks his tongue out when he drinks. Maybe a male thing?
    None of my donkeys have a kink in their tail though.
    A trait that may be genetic to your two donkeys.

  5. Well, will look forward to the answers! I can only say I don't "think" that all donkeys have kinks in their tails, that I have seen but now I want to look closer!

  6. Good grief, woman! I have no answers - I have no donkeys or horses - but your mysteries intrigued me and I wanted to comment. I have always had cats. I watched a video a couple of years ago that was slow motion of a cat drinking water. The study was of which way the tongue lapped, curled out or in. So if someone got that curious about a cat drinking, it's not at all strange that you would wonder about your donkeys!

    As for the angle at the end of the tail - I had a black cat in California who had a distinct kink at the end of his tail. I thought it was an early kittenhood injury before I got him, then later learned it was most likely genetic.

    So maybe your donkeys aren't much different from cats?

    Nancy in Iowa

  7. I have four horses in my barn at the moment. Two are mine and two are boarders. My horses stick their tongues out but the boarders hold their tongues in. None of these horses are related. Did you ever notice that their ears bob as they drink?

  8. No kink's in tails here. Maybe something with the inbreeding?

    Some tongues in some out. The ones out, hold water in their mouth for quite a bit which becomes event when you give them a treet and the water slobbers out! My guess is it's just something some of them do.

  9. Odd about the kinks, both my mini-donks are straight to the end. About the tongue thing, I think it's an individual preference, maybe like people. Some people stick their tongue out under the spoon (Kevin), some don't (me). The tip of Noah's tongue shows after he drinks, Sam's doesn't. If I remember right, horses (and probably donks) actually make a straw with their tongue to drink. Maybe some just stick it out a little further, and the tip stays out while they hold that last swallow in their mouths. Just guessing, here. :)

  10. I've seen George and Alan and Hank with their tongues out when drinking, but don't remember seeing Lucy's tongue out while drinking. Maybe it IS a male thing.

  11. I have two donkeys and the neighbor has one and none have the bend in their tale. One of mine does the tongue thingy and I understand it is very common in donkeys.

  12. Hi there from Australia. My two donkeys both have straight tails and drink with their tongues in. However Guinness (my little Irish donkey) is dribbles water everywhere when he drinks, like he can't hold it in his mouth.

    But what I do want to know is what makes a donkey bray? Mine generally don't unless they're separated. The one down the road (who lives by himself) brays day and night. I've been told they only bray when they're upset but I've heard others bray, apparently just for the sake of it.


  13. No kinks in the tails of my two donkeys.

    One of my favorite things is watching them drink water. I just love it. They drink with their tongues in, mouths closed. I think they do curl their tongues into a straw and it sounds like it! To me they look like Dr. Seuss characters when they drink water. When they are done, they lift their heads, stick their tongues in and out, swallowing and savoring the last of the water.