We at Fire Mountain Farm certainly don’t coddle our animals, because they are animals, and they have every right to their own identity as animals. However, we do our best to provide a nurturing home for them. Recently we acquired a donkey so loving and so sweet (and so enormous, weighing 300 lbs at only 3 weeks of age) that we had no choice but to name him after the rude, crude, and deficient in stature dictatorial general with a pension for hiding his right hand in his breast. OUR Napolean is quite the opposite, hence the name, and himself has a pension for hiding YOUR hand in his mouth. We’ll call those love bites. -No- We’ll call those extra special Donkey kisses. With such a tender beast on our hands we can’t help but coddle him just a little bit. He even kisses our puppy, as you can see. And our ears. And sometimes if you’re not careful when you’re walking away from him, you never know what he’s going to kiss. Napoleon, an ass though he may be, is also a strategic actor on our farm, protecting the sheep from dogs and eventually packing our heavy loads of coffee and macadamia nuts from field to plant. We feel lucky to have him.
Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category
He may not be a black sheep, but he certainly stands out from the flock, as you can see from feeding time. Jeffrey’s personality can best be described as “species confused” and explained most easily by his youth here at the farm. He belongs to an… “elite” group of sheep: the first group of sheep we purchased, to whom we feel a special attachment, and who we simply could not bear to butcher or sell. Therefore these sheep all have names: Ankatrine, Stephan, PigPen, Whitie, and Jeffrey. Pigpen has since been lost or stolen (yes, really, that happens). As a group, they were the first animals on the farm belonging to us (after the kitty) and Jeffrey came to us as a lamb with his mother, both of whom were attacked by a neighborhood dog. Jeffrey was only wounded but his mother did not survive. Shortly after we began nursing him, Maisy, our puppy arrived, and the two of them were weaned together. We think this started Jeffrey’s species confusion. Sometimes he thinks he’s a dog… sometimes he thinks he’s a sheep. Occasionally we see him chasing the kitten or chewing grass side by side with the donkey. Then he got a little older and began mounting things, and the confusion translated. He will never grow to full height because he never received enough mother’s milk. He will probably never receive status in the flock. But he is unafraid of humans, playful, adventurous, and sweet. And of all the sheep, he’s the only one that can tolerate our dog… because he thinks he is one.