19 October 2010

Donkey Tales (Part II)

Happily munching away at the grass on my terraces , Donkey became quite an attraction. Tan stopped when he came home from work and took some pictures and then when Angie and her little girls arrived, they too went up to stroke him. He was perfectly behaved.

Then J and her pal, Linda arrived and they too climbed up onto the terraces to pat him. Carrots, potatoes and parsnips were the order of the day and Donkey munched his way through what must have been the equine equivalent of steak and chips. I suspect he was rather disappointed though in the human race when Linda started talking about donkey sausages being on sale in Antibes market!

Kitty called the police but they weren’t really interested and told us to call the local animal sanctuary but not long afterwards J spoke to a French guy who lives below us and he reckoned Donkey had been borrowed (with a goat) and was from a house along St Arnoux where the animals were being used to clear the ground.

It was getting dark by now and we all headed over to Tan and Angie’s for pizza where occasionally we could hear Dierdre braying and if you’re wondering why Dierdre – my brother had imparted his knowledge of donkeys (don’t ask !!) and had said that if ‘there’s nothing hanging down, it’s a female’, and so Donkey was rechristened Dierdre.

At 5am the next morning I awoke to this awful noise – nope, it wasn’t J snoring but Dierdre wanting some attention. I had to get dressed and go up onto the terraces with a bag of carrots and give her a pat. It was just getting light, well light enough for me to see the mess Dierdre had made – ok she’d munched her way through all the long grass which the mower had missed but she’d also left piles of dung everywhere – piles and piles of it! What a mess.

Later on about 10am, I took Dierdre down to the lower terraces where she was tethered on a long rope. Down there if anybody was passing and spotted her, they might be able to contact the owner and sure enough that’s what happened. A French lady stopped, said she knew the owner and twenty minutes later a French guy appeared and said he was missing his ├óne (donkey). As I led him down to her, he shouted, ‘Oscar Oscar’ (so much for Dierdre and my brother’s advice!) and dear old Oscar came running up to greet him. 

‘I’ve also lost five goats’, he said, ‘you haven’t seen them have you?’

So Oscar was ridden off, back to her stony terraces halfway down St Arnoux and I suspect the vegetables she got from us will be the last she sees for quite a while.

We all miss you Oscar.  

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