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September 20, 2004

Newsletter Extract

From the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary

Let's move on to a lighter note and bring you up to date with the antics of the sanctuary residents.

Picture the scene. It's a bright morning and everyone is going about their chores mucking out stables, mixing feeds etc. Suddenly a very out of breath man rushes into the yard waving his hand about and gasps out "donkeys" before collapsing on the nearest seat.


Naturally as he has arrived at a donkey sanctuary no one takes much notice and everyone continues with their work. He then gets very agitated and manages to explain that there are 11 donkeys wandering in the village. Although sceptical Tracy checks the fields which, to her utter horror, are completely devoid of donkeys.

Immediately everyone in the yard downs tools and dashes off down the road into the village only to see donkeys disappearing in all directions and even crossing the main road.

The donkeys then decide to congregate en mass in the garden of the local nursing home - much to the delight of the elderly residents but horror of the owner who has just spent £5,000 having it landscaped. Many of the residents, whom the nurses did not know could stand un-aided let alone walk, are up out of their chairs and watching the donkeys' antics through the windows of the home.

The donkeys gave a real grand performance running through flowerbeds, over the lawns and eventually heading for the ornamental pond where several decided to take an early bath. Some even went to say hello to the residents and staff inside the home!


Now it may seem an easy task for four people from the sanctuary and several helpers from the village to round up 11 donkeys and get them back home. It isn't, especially when those donkeys don't want to go home because they're having so much fun elsewhere.

The donkeys were eventually rounded up and herded onto the forecourt of the local service station. After several aborted attempts of one person leading two donkeys back to the fields the only way they were all safely delivered back home was one at a time with one person pulling from the front and another pushing from the rear.

The gap in the hedge, through which the donkeys had escaped, was eventually discovered and their hoof steps retraced only to discover that they had not headed directly down to the village. They had made several detours including the local allotments where they had eaten all the produce normally sold by the allotment holders on a Sunday morning. There had also been a visit to the local school playing field.

Surprisingly most of the villagers and those affected by the donkeys' rampage took it in good part - except for the owner of nursing home! We'll say no more on that subject!


Steve arrived home at lunchtime to find a usually active stable yard just totally abandoned. He said all he could see were wheelbarrows, forks and spades just left in the middle of the yard. It was as though everyone had been abducted by aliens.

That afternoon Tracy was due for her annual medical. The nurse took her blood pressure, as part of the check-up, then left the room and came back with another monitor to re-check it thinking the other must be faulty. When that gave the same reading she called in the doctor.

Tracy's blood pressure was so high they though she would have either a heart attack or stroke there and then. The doctor was insistent that she be admitted immediately to hospital. Tracy was even more insistent that she couldn't possibly go to hospital. A compromise of sorts was reached with Tracy agreeing to go back every day for a week to have her blood pressure checked. It is now under control.

Having suffered with high blood pressure before Tracy never thought to tell the doctor of the stress she had been under a short while before and ask if that could have anything to do with a high reading. You can bet it was the reason. Oh the joys of running an animal sanctuary!

Posted by Guest Contributor at September 20, 2004 06:23 AM