So How's Moses?

On occasion, we get asked how our buddy Moses is doing. It's been five years since this donkey came to live at Heston's, and he has definitely become one of the family. The picture above was taken last week at our bonfire. Greg thought that he might want to come and enjoy it with us, but we weren't letting him help out. Without opposable thumbs, his "help" is a little..shall we say clumsier...than really helpful.

He watched as we got the fire started, but then retreated a short ways up the hill. We think that the fire bothered him a bit, although he did enjoy being around his people. He also had a sled full of hay to occupy him. That kept him out of the bratwurst, too.

The fall was a bit rough for Moses. We didn't expect it to happen, but he was really missing his donkey buddy Jethro. In early September, Jethro moved to Montana, after accepting a part-time position there. He left in a trailer, and now resides with two other donkeys in the western part of the state.
He had an interesting fall, as he had to learn how to be a pack animal. His job involves carrying camping equipment up in to the mountains for hunting trips. If the hunt is successful, he is asked to carry down fresh meat. It's not a job for the fainted hearted or the weak. We always knew that Jethro was a strong boy, but we didn't have those kinds of jobs for him. (Somehow, I can't see a donkey packing off to a cabin for me, carrying my clean linens and vacuum cleaner.)

When a donkey is carrying a load, if he stops and lays down, he is unable to get back up by himself. It means that the load has to be removed from his back before he can stand up again. Then he gets re-loaded, and the trek continues. Jethro tried this a couple of times--shall we call it a work stoppage? But he soon realized that he didn't like the feeling of not being able to get back up when he wanted. After that, he signed on to his fate and learned that packing is really quite enjoyable.

Like Moses, we miss Jethro, too. One of these days, we'll go out and visit him. Maybe Greg will even get a chance to go on a camping trip with him. That will be a fun reunion.