Charlotte and I once owned the largest donkey herd in the Texas Panhandle. Yep, donkey.
That ancient beast of burden known for pulling carts in the Middle East or packing supplies for mining prospectors in the Old West.
We bought them (16, once the pregnant jennies gave birth) in 1979 to haul children in and out of Palo Duro Canyon. Cheaper than horses, donkeys also are more durable and surefooted than their larger relatives.
Learned a lot from those burros.
One doesn’t have to be big to be strong. Calmness under duress is a virtue (a horse may panic and jump off a canyon rim, something a donkey would never do). And smart may come wrapped in an unlikely package (I’ve never seen a donkey meet a gate he couldn’t open).
Donkeys have been maligned for centuries. Think about the stereotypic picture of an animal sitting down, refusing to budge, and then read about Balaam’s donkey in Numbers 22:22-33.
Stubbornness does not equal laziness. Maybe there’s an avenging angel in the path ahead, or a rattlesnake.
Finally, donkeys are lovable, loyal and gregarious. Befriend one and he will follow you like a faithful retriever.
But don’t think lovable means cowardly. Dogs chase horses. Donkeys chase dogs.