Travels with a donkey


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Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Ariege
March 17th 2009
Published: March 17th 2009
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I know it was only yesterday I posted a blog, but well, how often to YOU go for a country walk with a donkey and a goat (and a few humans too)? No, we don’t either, so I thought it was worth sharing.

Henri’s the neighbour who offered us the donkey manure, and we’ve struck up quite a friendship. He said he’d like to take us, with his wife Brigitte, to see the fields of wild daffodils up on the Plantaurel. When we got to our rendezvous, the donkey field, he’d rounded up a few other friends. Valentine (the donkey) and Penelope (the goat), had apparently conveyed their wish to be included too. We waved goodbye to Romeo and Ulysse (the other 2 donkeys), and Suzie the cow, who disapproved noisily at being left behind. Then we set off along the disused railway track, now a popular walking route. A gorgeous sunny day, we passed lots of other walkers, none of whom batted an eyelid on seeing our menagerie.

Soon we left the track to climb upwards through the forest, and first wood anemones, then daffodils began appearing the undergrowth. We met people coming down carrying armsful of flowers. Malcolm and I both thought it was sad that all these flowers weren’t left for everyone to enjoy, but this was roundly pooh- poohed: ‘There’s plenty for everyone’: ‘They’ll regrow’: ‘If you don’t take them, somebody else will’. But we, like Valentine and Penelope, came back empty handed.

We never reached the daffodil field. It was the animals’ first walk of the season, and they were getting tired, so we turned back. Penelope enjoyed heading the field, so every time Valentine tried to nose forward, the goat twisted across the path to prevent her. Even though they’re best friends.

Back chez the donkeys, the humans all sat outside Henri’s ’garçonnière’ (bachelor pad) drinking tea and eating home made cake, while the donkey and the cow alternately stared wistfully at us (‘Nearly our tea time too. Where are our oats?’) and mooched off to play football with a squishy old football of theirs. The goat was tired. She went to bed.

Sorry, by the way, about the quality of these photos - camera problems. Supply your own blue



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29th March 2009

Thank you!
The Pyrenees are easy to fall in love with, aren't they? Perhaps you'll come back one day and explore further. Let us know if you do!

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