Saturday, March 15, 2014

Donkey Zen

One of my favorite places to look for inexpensive books is Daedalus Books.  As you will recall I am contemplating adding chickens to the mix of backyard critters next year (see post of 3/9/14) and toward that end picked up the book,  the Way of the Hen, Zen and the Art of Raising Chickens by Clea Danaan from Daedalus.

In the first few pages I found this passage:  "In the midst of cell phones that connect to the Internet and cars that tell us where to go, fifty-hour work-weeks and three-hour lines at the airport, we long just to sit on a hill and feed grass to a chicken... Our true nature is to slow down.  Sit.  Watch the clouds.  Chickens, in their simple scratches and pecks, call us back to our true nature."  

That struck a strong chord with me.  That's exactly what my sweet donkeys give to me.  A re-connection with my true nature. When I let them.  When I'm not angry at having to push a wheelbarrow through the slush or getting exasperated with Luigi's penchant for blocking my way on the narrow snow paths.  When I stop and listen to the soft munching of hay and feel their gentle nibbles on my hand.  That's when I reconnect.  And that's how they help me slow down, look up at the sky and enjoy.


  1. Donkeys are masters at making us stop and connect with the moment. Thank God they are so good at getting in the way.

  2. Donkeys are such wonderful, smart animals. I was fortunate enough to meet my donkey friend, Two Bits, in Colorado. We spent 5 years getting to know one another and he tolerated a lot more from me than many others, it was tough to leave him when i moved back east but he belonged to the ranch and he loved it there. Twelve years after i left i made it back for a visit and 'Bits was still there, older and a bit crankier. He didn't recognize me, turned his head away and moved out of my reach. I was disappointed but it had been a very long time. I sat down nearby to talk to friends and we noticed that Bits had turned around and was watching us with his ears up... i kept talking and he kept moving closer until he was standing right in front of me. He pressed his head against my chest and took a deep breath that he let out in a soft bray. He had recognized my voice. He lived a few more years and finally passed away at the grand old age of 41. Such a wonderful fellow.
    Thank you for the blog and the pictures, it brings back such great memories. Cat

    1. Cat, what a truly wonderful story. Was Two Bits a full-size or miniature?
      41... wowzers...

  3. I love your post. I so much enjoy keeping chickens. But when I look out and they are all scratching and throwing the compost our of a new garden bed!!! Well, I get frustrated too. After all, these chickens have acres and acres of leaves to scratch in, but they all gather in a garden bed. The thanks I get for letting them out of their lot everyday to free range!! :)