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This photo definitively answers the world’s least asked question. What does it look like to stand between two miniature donkeys? The answer, as you can see, is it looks pretty darn cozy. If only someone would ask you this today, you are all prepared. Don’t ever say the Bossy Spa is of no practical use.

When I stepped between these two ladies, they didn’t mind, as I had been scratching their heads for awhile, so they knew I had no ill intent. They also knew I wasn’t there to feed them, so they let me step between them, their warm, wide bellies pressing against my legs.¬† If the problem is cold, a couple of donkeys could be the answer.

These are two of the three donkeys you met here. When I visited them our neighbor told me more of their story. He got a call from a woman who had owned them and given them away. When she went to visit them in their new home, there was not enough food or water. She was worried, but couldn’t take them back.

My neighbor brought a trailer and roped and loaded four of the five donkeys and brought them back to his place. He wasn’t able to rope the fifth donkey, but he knows that someone later went back and got that one. He has four, one male and three females. You haven’t met the male yet.

These two ladies are usually shy. They won’t come up to the fence if I have the dogs with me, but in their own home with their owner nearby, they are brave and friendly.¬†They had been eating the hay you see on the ground, but they discontinued breakfast to visit with me.

Their bellies are so wide that the neighbor first thought they were pregnant. You can imagine how much he needs more donkeys. Somehow, even though they socialize with the male, they have not had babies the last four years. Wide bellies are just part of their charm.

I love the striping down their backs and over their shoulders. These markings can be found in horses too, and are considered primitive markings, from an ancestor common to all the equine species. These stripes are often accompanied by horizontal stripes on the legs, called zebra bars.

These common elements across different species are reminders of how we are all made of the same things and share common origins. If you go back far enough we share common ancestors with all people. If you go back even farther we share common ancestors with all creatures.

Even if you are in an isolated town, caregiving with such intensity that you rarely leave the house, you are not alone. You may have a sister from your same parents, who loves you from far away, but don’t despair if you don’t. You can go back a little more into your history until you find your brotherhood and sisterhood with all living things.

Caregiving can be lonely. You don’t have much time to build and maintain relationships, but we humans are social creatures, and we need at least some contact with other creatures.

Today you are warmly embraced in the family of all living things. If you are lonely, step onto the porch and listen to the birds for a bit. You don’t have to send them email or call or comb your hair before you see them. They are just there because they are your neighbors, and we are all family.

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