A Cowboy’s Faith: Mary didn’t ride donkey – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Mary didn’t ride donkey

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“At first obnoxious, the ‘Eeyore’ now heard frequently from the ranch corral is becoming somewhat the norm.”

Still Cody the palomino barrel horse in the neighboring pen isn’t so sure he likes the donkey next door. Often, he’ll still lay his ears back and charge toward the long-eared rough-haired crest-necked equine-of-sorts nearby.

Actually, when the roper brought what some might call a burro into the ranch yard, Cody had a fit conniption.

The strange sounding, a bit weird looking, sure enough quite long-eared visitor is becoming acquainted with the roper daughter’s mare. They’re corral mates now with intentions to move together to a summer pasture lot for convenience of care.

While owning a donkey or two through the years, they typically haven’t been around long. The one rode quite well and sold at a profit. What his owner called a “Mammoth Jack” (big male donkey) trained readily and supposedly became a fine riding mount. Ranch manager has goats too and keeps what’s defined as a miniature donkey around to keep predators away.

More common around the ranch has been mules with a wide array of successes and disarrays through decades. One pretty mule was doing well before coming down with mortal sickness.

Another big mule came from several hundred miles for training and was a runaway. He never bucked, but would take off running like a greyhound nearly unstoppable.

A big mule team was almost purchased one time, but the deal fell through.

With that “experience,” knowledge about donkeys, mules and their sounds has been limited.

According to those in the know, horses “neigh” or “whinny,” which most already knew? Donkeys “bray” sounding like “Eeyore,” “hee-haw,” or nasal vocalizing “aw, aw, aww-aww.”

A mule does not sound exactly like a donkey or a horse, yet is similar to a donkey.  But also has whinnying characteristics of a horse, starting with a whinny, ending in a “hee-haw.” Sometimes, mules “whimper.” Ugh.

Mules are offspring of a male donkey (jack) and a mare. Offspring of a stallion and female donkey (jenny) is a hinny. Mules and hinnies are sterile.

Way more than anybody wanted to read.

However, nowhere does the Bible say Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, although one might have been available.

Reminded of Genesis 43:24: “Joseph gave donkeys their feed.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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