Repatriating the Donkeys
There wasn’t even the sound of their hooves,
Unshod of course,
On the gravel path down to the stables.
The only warning was the dog yelping indoors
To be let out –
To welcome the visitors, or inspect them at least.
Soon as I opened the front door he scarpered down
But stopped some feet away.
They were unconcerned, little donkeys, on a visit.
Bringing them back to their home was harder:
They would not be caught, head shy.
They followed a bucket of meal, softly, as if unsure
Turning this way and that to explore green grass instead.
My youngest lead the way with the bucket,
The donkeys, three of them, behind.
All went well until we met the dogs down the road:
The barking terriers that ran a race inside their fence
For all passerbys and especially donkeys.
Donkeys would not pass by with such runners racing the fence
And barking as if the Lord himself was coming.
They always do that, although donkeys might be closer.
And it was nearly Christmas, so they had a point.
I brought up with rear with four feet of wavin pipe
Shaking it in the air, whooshing them along
Good dogs, good donkeys
But the dogs kept barking and the donkeys turned heel
I stood my ground but donkeys are stubborn.
It was a stalemate – a head to three heads.
Even with my wavin I could not cover the entire road
I waved my wavin, the dogs barking, the donkeys rushing at me and then back
My daughter shook the bucket again
Food over barking
Food over wavin
Food for little donkeys.
Obedient as if butter would not melt in the mouths
They turned and trotted after the bucket
Down the road, me in tow,
We reached the open gate, cause of escape,
And they went back in: one, two, three.
I closed the gap and closed the gate in a bound.
Just in time for Christmas.
By Jillian Godsil