Fiona and Phoebe have been naughty girls! We fed them all winter and I (Ali) spent a lot of time taming them and trying to get a head collar on so we could lead them around instead of herd them! Just as I was getting somewhere, as Spring sprung, they came on heat and escaped our temporary fencing and went in search of some males.
Of course, that happened the day before we were leaving for the UK for 2 weeks so I had no way of trying to find them. I called the President of the Chasse (hunt), and he said he would tell all the hunt men to look out for them. I also called everyone I knew with a horse/donkey or pony. We heard nothing so when I got back, I put flyers around the village, complete with mug shot of the donkeys; LOST!
Not very long afterwards, I got a call that they were up at Can Robert in Leca, a hamlet a little way up the mountain. This used to be a donkey farm and was where the donkeys were from originally (although I didn’t know that until just recently).
I went up to take salt to them and see if they were OK. They were very happy with their older Catalan boyfriends; Chocolat & Leo. Castrated so no fouls on the way.
Next problem was how to bring them home. They had become more wild in the 2 months they had been there and didn’t seem to know me anymore; I tried with the head collar twice, but there was no way I was going to get it on. We tried going up with a horse box….(not an easy task with the hair-pin bends on the side of a cliff) but the girls ran off once they saw where I was leading them. We decided that the only way was to lead the boys back on foot, on the main route from Leca, and hope the girls follow.
I had Chocolat, the lead male, my friend, Corinne, had Leo and the girls were to follow behind. Matt was on foot with Zac the dog; Andrew was in front in his car and Nige behind in our car; to warn passing traffic for the road section. Quite an operation! We hooked up the boys no problem, and then the girls ran off! Matt & Zac managed to round them up and off we went… but then the girls overtook Chocolat & I, so Chocolat decided to run with them…. there was no way I could hold him so I had to let him go and they ran into someones garden in Leca! Leo was dragging Corinne along to join them. Luckily I had some bread so Chocolat came back to me. All we had to do now was make sure the girls didn’t over take us again.
Once we got going, the donkeys seemed to get into the pace and relax a bit, which made us relax and enjoy the scenery. We got them home for a long drink and they tucked into this long grass which hasn’t been grazed for months. They like the shelter of the piggery to get away from the heat & flies.
We are happy to take care of Chocolat & Leo for now, maybe forever, we will see. The lady who owns them didn’t seem to care whether I borrowed them or not, as she doesn’t live in Leca anymore so hardly saw them anyway. They are nice boys and are welcome here!