18 October 2010

Anyone Lost a Donkey ?

I headed off to the village on Friday morning with a list of errands thrust into my palm: go to the garage and hand over J’s wheels and tyres; get Shadow some food (we reckoned he was hungry as he was last seen eating grass); go to the post office and pick up the latest parcel.

I’d already been to the post office this week to pick up two tyres for J’s car, bought on the internet (brand new - not some dodgy rubbish) and our delightful post mistress had said she’d never had tyres delivered before. And so when I turned up on Friday to be handed another rather bulky box, she remarked in French,’another day another parcel Mr Cupples.’ Predictably, it was from Marks and Spencers – if only M&S did car tyres I wouldn’t need to make so many journeys!

Pleased with what I’d achieved in less than an hour, I headed home in the Alfa. It’s only its sixth outing in about a year so I gave it a bit of a wanging and roared down the quiet country roads before heading off up into the hills. No sooner had I left the main road than I came across an animal right in the middle of the lane. Now I’ve seen deer, boar, badgers, foxes, squirrels, rabbits and a host of other things including snakes, but I’d never encountered a donkey before.

It just stood there looking at me (see picture) and wouldn’t move so I got out of the car and being wary of its hooves, approached it slowly and started to stroke it. It was obviously well cared for and had a sort of lead on its neck and as soon as it reasoned that I wasn’t a threat, it started to nuzzle me. After a few minutes I decided it would know where to go and would return home under its own steam and I drove off, only to look in my mirror and see ‘donkey’ running after me. I stopped – it stopped. I drove off – it followed. I stopped – it stopped. Eventually, I got out of the car again and pushed it into the bushes where it happily munched some disgusting, thorny stuff and I drove off. Donkey did not follow. Success!

I got home, found out J was just about to set off on one of her all-day shopping trips and as her car was on blocks of wood with its wheels off, she decided she’d spend the day bombing along the coast in my Alfa and off it disappeared in a spray of gravel.

Fed up with being ‘dumped’ at lunchtimes, I got on my scooter and headed for the village - again. Guess who was standing in the middle of the road – yup - donkey. I got off, stroked it some more before heading off down the lane and was relieved it didn’t run after me this time. It was last seen heading in the direction of my house.

After a pleasant lunch, I was nearly home when there he was again – standing in the middle of the road. I got off and he actually ran up to me. I told him I’d be back, got home and then grabbed Shadow and headed back down the lane to see if he was still there – which he was. I put Shadow’s lead on him and he meekly followed me home. Shadow of course wanted to be friends but Donkey wasn’t quite so sure and worried about what a hefty hoof would do to Shadow’s ribs I told him to go off in front which he did, leading us home with his tail held high.

We got home, I put donkey on the high terraces and tethered him to a fence, gave him J’s last parsnip (she’ll kill me) and took him a bucket of water. He showed no interest in the water at all but proceeded to eat the bucket!

So what will happen next? Phone the police? Or wait for some irate Frenchies to turn up shouting that I’ve kidnapped their donkey?

Next installment tomorrow.

PS - I've just noticed that there were quite a few visits recently to my site from Chile - d'ya think the miners were kept sane by giving them my blog to read in the dark depths of that mine?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At least it will help keep the jungle in check Tom