She’s a spare donkey, no longer of
use since the cattle were sold, since the
rancher moved to town. She’s uprooted,
landed in rescue, not eating but not dying,
she has come here to make up her mind.
My farm has a spare pen for a decrepit
long-ear. She’s brittle as ice but I have
more issues about my own age than she
does hers. Those eyes are nearly worn
out and her gray coat has felted to steel
wool. She has string halt, lifting her stilted
hind hooves too high each step. It’s been a
a spare life with few luxuries, not that she
minds. Prairie old. Prairie tough. She
nibbles alfalfa mush a few times a day,
there’s some roundness now, she’s gaining
a belly. We’ve got food to spare, she doesn’t
eat much. She’s opinionated, hates dogs, will
kick at anything within range. Her bray more
like a roar, deep and full enough to be heard
above the howl of predators. Maybe they’ve
spared her because she’s no longer a threat; the
prairie would be less without her. When I walk
her to the lawn, she slowly rubs her nose back
and forth, bruising the grass to a finer smell,
sweet even though her teeth are beyond grazing.
Lifting her ears, she hobbles back to the dry lot
gate, content to assume her position at the edge
of the herd, tilting her head slightly to benefit
from the venerable warmth of the morning sun.
Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.
(WordPress Photo Challenge is a weekly prompt to share a photo–I enjoy twisting these macro prompts to share our micro life here on the Colorado prairie. My photos are taken with my phone, on my farm. No psych, definitely not high tech.)