Last summer, in the heat of the day, Pegasus could often be found in the chicken coop, probably because the screening kept the flies down.
During the winter, however, the donkeys ate one of the wood walls (literally, ate it—I came out one morning and there was open air where there used to be a solid side). This summer, whether because there are more flies in the chicken coop now or because I regularly give her horse cookies from the house door, Pegasus is spending a lot of time in the garage. Pegasus and I have been together since September 20, 1997. She is likely at least 28 years old but could be 30 (a rescue, her age is unknown). She is a bit frail but enjoying her new food. The vet gave me the go-ahead to give her alfalfa, which I’d had to avoid before this because of her foundering issue (too rich food can precipitate an episode). So I let her into the hay area and she eats to her heart’s content—a joy to see.
From my writing studio, I just heard the clop of hooves on the cement floor in the garage, which means Pegasus’s beloved companion Perseus just joined her in her cool retreat. Earlier the sheep and goats stopped by for a drink of water and Sunshine the lamb took a nap near Pegasus. Sunshine is nearly full size now but still a small sheep, smaller than her twin sister, Moonglow. Sunshine will forever be a lamb to me, who bottle-fed her. Sunshine just baaed from the garage, as if she heard what I said about her. I guess she’s back for another nap.
Yesterday, three generations of my family women visited the sanctuary—my sister-in-law, her daughter, and her daughter’s 7-month-old baby. As we handed out apples and horse cookies in the garage, my niece told her daughter that she first met Pegasus when she was a little girl.
Now here she is, 17 years later, introducing Pegasus to her own child.
Pegasus has always loved children, both four-legged and two-legged.
I didn’t know, though, that the donkeys would be so interested. I had never seen them like this before. The first clue was Raphael walked right into the garage. The donkeys don’t usually come in because there is only one exit. Yes, he was interested in the treats but clearly more interested in the baby.
We went outside and the three donkeys gathered around to investigate the little one. They touched their noses to her skin, breathed in her smell, and stayed in the circle with us, interested the whole time.
They only left when we went inside.
What a lovely welcome for a new baby!
(All pictures taken by the baby’s grandmother, my dear sister-in-law.)