Disclaimer: I’m going to transcribe for Edgar. Donkeys are very smart, profoundly philosophical and endowed with Victorian sensibilities. Edgar is prone to never use a small word when several large words are available. He believes public displays, such as blogging, are frequently garish. I will do my best…
Edgar says: Sometimes people consider donkeys a bit coarse. To the insensitive handler, we might appear stubborn. Appearing stubborn is just our response to rudeness.
We donkeys have quiet, sensitive hearts and we believe in civilized discourse. We have DonkeyZen.
Edgar says: I notice humans let their emotions be very big. They are a bit scattered, even dare I say- unstable. And so very loud! Do you think these ears don’t hear?
Sometimes humans swagger into the stable, slamming things around and interrupting everyone’s digestion. And that’s just with their jangled thoughts. Humans have a plan with a time schedule and they expect everyone in the barn to participate. Excuse me, Human, you pulling the rope impatiently, do you think you are the smart one?
It rattles my DonkeyZen. We donkeys hate to fight, even more than horses. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re not the adversarial one. It’s not for you to judge- that job belongs to those impacted by your behavior. Take my word for it.
Edgar says: We donkeys love work, it gives us self-respect and usefulness. Some of my best friends are horses, and they love work even more.
We want our human to have a vision, but then negotiate the agenda with us. Just ask us clearly, don’t be rude about it. Then take a breath and give me a chance to gather my thoughts before you require an answer. It will take as much time as it takes, and if you rush me, it will take longer.
And didn’t your mother ever teach you to say thank you?
Edgar says: I apologize- a disturbance in my DonkeyZen is no reason to speak poorly of your mother.
You rider/humans would have your manners improved by working with donkeys. I recommend it. Sometimes a horse will give you the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes a horse will allow themselves to be bullied; it’s a character flaw if you ask me. Donkeys like me require trust and respect for partnership and only then do you get our best work. And yes, we are worth it.
Bottom line is this: Some humans believe that an equine would never do the work without intimidation and bullying. If this is your method of training, you are probably not evolved enough to partner with a donkey. Your horse might not like you as much as you think either.
Some humans believe that you can invite an equine to work and get a better result. It takes mental connection, sometimes deeper and more honest than handlers have with other humans. If we are important to you, let us teach you.
Edgar says: You humans are hard to trust with your unstable temperaments and no real ear to speak of, but I think you are basically good creatures. My advice to humans is to cultivate some DonkeyZen.
Edgar agrees with Mother Teresa: “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
My donkey ancestor’s quiet wisdom has been in the stable since the first Christmas for good reason and the message bears repeating.
Edgar says: Peace on Earth. Goodwill to all God’s creatures.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.