Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 4 January 2014

If I Had a Donkey

If I had a donkey,
And he would not go,
Do you think I’d beat him?
Oh no, no, no. 
I’d put him in the stable,
And give him some corn,
The best little donkey
That ever was born.

(trad Nursery Rhyme)
These are my friends at Lanzarote a Caballo, whom we visited today at the end of a walk across the Lanzarote landscape.

I’m always delighted to see them and I think they like to see anybody who will show them a little attention.

The younger ones will bray excitedly if they think you have come to give them some treats, but today my joy was a tussle with one of them who took a fancy to my camera strap. He had it between his teeth and was enjoying a tug-o-war with me; I swear there was also a big grin! 

I once asked about these donkeys, who are well fed and looked after, to see if they were rescue animals. I was told that they were all born here, but that they came from stock which was rescued from a place in Gran Canaria, which was closing down.

Apparently they do get taken out for special occasions but there is not the manpower to use them for rides with children or similar events, in the way that donkey sanctuaries in UK seem to do.

It’s so sad; they don’t have any toys or stimulation in their corral either, but at least they have each other. Donkeys are very sociable animals and love to engage with other donkeys or humans. I have a special place in my heart for these gentle creatures. We have visited the sanctuary in Devon several times and each time we are struck by the donkeys in the barn who have been rescued and stand quietly and patiently together. It always brings a lump to my throat.

I have a recording from about 33 years ago of my son aged two and a bit reciting the above nursery rhyme - that also brings a lump to my throat!


  1. I just love donkeys Little Nell. If I ever find any on my life's journey I am compelled to stop and take a photo...but it is a rare event. We looked after a property once in my early 20s for someone that had a couple of horses and a donkey - Humphrey was his name I think. They only had to say "donkey" and I said "Yes!". Have you ever read the picture book My Donkey Benjamin? It was a bit unusual - very 1970s - black and white photography. Just beautiful...hmmm....looking on Abebooks it seems to be a bit of a collectors item now. My copy is very tattered and torn from lots of reading. And then of course there are all the Derek Tangye books which we loved to read as a family.

  2. Oh my now you have placed a tender lump in my throat too! A lovely poem, and most of all I just adore Donkeys too! They are just adorable.

  3. I'm glad they are well fed and taken care of. The last time I've met a donkey must have been when I was 4 or 5 years old on vacation in Spain.

  4. Lovely nursery rhyme, I've a soft spot for donkeys too, and used to visit a sanctuary near Bournemouth when I worked there, but haven't seen all that many since, now I think about it.
    I've a quick and easy knitting pattern for a very small donkey if you'd like it? x

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