Little Donkey


We began this sunny day with a trip to the bank in New Milton, followed by one to Mole Country Stores just outside Lymington.

Tree shadows

The shadows of trees were cast on the woodland bank beside the store.

The woman serving us cautioned me to watch for the stampede of staff who, having heard Wendy’s horn, would be dashing out for cake from the popular mobile caterer. We hoped that the poison we were buying would prove as appetising to the rats still coming in from North Breeze, the empty house next door. Whatever is tearing a hole in the Rose Garden fence is of course rather larger than a rat. Either a badger or a fox. Later in the day we put down the bait in its specially designed containers.

Having made our purchase, we drove on to East End to see how the thatching by

New Forest Master Thatchers

was coming along.

I had a pleasant conversation whilst looking up at one of the men perched on his scaffolding. He remembered my having photographed the unloading of the reeds, and was more than happy to have their progress recorded on the blog.

The pair of donkeys across the road were today joined by a younger member of the family. They were liberally bedecked with petals of the blackthorn that lines the hedgerows and provides them with sustenance. The field of rape beyond the hedge failed to blind them to the task of trimming the hedges.

A little further up the road, near the chickens, a younger foal adhered to its mother

Donkey and foal on road 1

until she imparted its first instruction in the art of claiming the road

Donkey foal on road

and the game of disrupting the traffic.

It seemed as if the further we ventured the smaller became the little donkeys. At East Boldre mothers and babies clung together as somnolent fathers dozed along the winding road. One of the more venturesome foals was quick to trot to his mother at the sight of me and my camera.

Just like human babies these tiny tots can fall asleep anywhere in positions of which their parents may well be envious.

It is possible that this will remind anyone of a certain age of


This evening we dined on Jackie’s delicious lamb jalfrezi, savoury rice, vegetable samosas, and spicy paneer. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Bergerac.



  1. I loved this post. I have been fascinated by thatch since rustyduck did posts on her roof repair. I have always wanted a donkey. That baby is irresistible.

  2. Goodness, I haven’t heard that song for decades! The thatching is amazing isn’t it! I imagine the house owners might be glad someone recorded the progress too. Cute donkeys, young and old! <3

  3. Were you, like me, made to learn G.K. Chesterton’s “The Donkey” by heart?
    The devil’s walking parody
    On all four-footed things.

    An appropriate enough poem for the coming paschal season!

        1. Thanks, Rekha. Some years ago, on a London bus, a Grandfather behind me was trying to spell supercalifragilisticexpialodocious for his grandson. He was struggling. I turned round and asked if they would like me to spell it for them. They said “Yes”. I wrote it on my ticket. “Smug git” said Grandpa 🙂

  4. Where oh where do these beautiful creatures go to rest at night, do they just sleep under the stars? The poor little creatures when there’s a storm have nowhere to hide.
    These pictures are starting to make me feel sad

      1. No, I’ve never seen those ponies and donkeys.Just looking at all the photo’s you post got me thinking and wondering, and kind of worrying about them.

          1. Yes unavoidable I suppose; I feel for anybody that actually causes the death of one of these fine creatures, accidentally. No one would kill them intentionally, surely.

  5. Wonderful post. I love the thatching photos (nothing like that around here)–but the donkeys, especially the babies, are adorable. I like the photo of the foal in the road with the mother giving it the “lesson.” 🙂 And the grey mother and baby.
    The video is blocked here in the US on copyright grounds.

  6. Your little piece of paradise! Love seeing the thatching process–we watched it once in Ireland and were fascinated. And the donkeys are super cute–those sleeping babies are funny!

  7. Is that baby precious or what! How sweet, great shot Derrick. Very interesting to see that thatched roof top being made.

  8. I like the baby donkey and the music chosen. I like lamb and enjoy it mainly as lamb chops buy do enjoy jalfrezi flavorings. I am catching up! Left much longer message on next post for ward. Smiles and hugs to you both!

  9. Oh, I do admire the thatched roofs. Are they very expensive to install. I think they would be. What about birds and mice? Wouldn’t they love a thatched roof too? I suppose there’d be room for all, they seem very thick.

    I simply adore donkeys, I always have, even as a child. They always seemed to need more TLC as everyone is generally enamerd with riding horses. Not me! They’re just my size and with the long ears, seem like cartoon characters really. Are all these donkeys wild? Or do the owners just need a fence? Cheers from Boomdee

    1. Many thanks, Boomdee. The average small roof cost is about £30,000 and lasts about 30 years. Birds do tend to use what they can. The donkeys are all owned, but allowed to roam free. Ancient rights of commoners.

      1. I love that ‘ancient rights’ rule! I do hope drivers are extra mindful. 30,000 pounds! wow! But I guess, in the long run, 1000 pounds a year is not too shabby.

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