Five If You Hit A Donkey

Cricket and donkeys 3


As I struggled with ensuring I was digging up allium bulbs around the patio without damaging surrounding plants, I reflected on the tiny thyme twigs that, three years ago, I rescued from the butler sinks lost among the undergrowth covering the Dead End Path.

They are doing very well in their stony, sunny, new home, and don’t at all mind the dry weather we are experiencing.

This afternoon we went for a drive in the forest.

Cricket match 7
Cricket match 1
Cricket match 6
Cricket match 2
Cricket match 3
Cricket match 4
Cricket match 5

At Burley a cricket match was in progress.

Cricket match 8

The scoreboard, stationed in front of the pavilion and changing rooms, demonstrated what was obvious to spectators, namely that the bowling side was in receipt of a drubbing. There are eleven players per side in this game. Ten wickets may fall before the innings ends. Sometimes the captain may declare the innings closed before that happens. The top line of figures on the board shows the total, in this case 175. The next is the number of wickets fallen – 4. Then follows the score made by the last batsman out – 33. This was a good score for only four wickets down. The young man wearing pads in the picture was the next man to bat. He was having a long wait.

There is always a drinks interval during each innings at cricket. It was only fitting, therefore, that we should stop for one at The Foresters’ Arms at Frogham, before taking a leisurely route home.

Ponies and foal
Pony and foal 1
Pony 1
Pony 2

Alongside Roger Penny Way the parents of a pony family cropped the grass while their offspring sprawled beside them.

Pony mare and foal

Further on, another mother led her foal across the road in front of us.

Man in mobility scooter, woman with terriers, cattle, calf 2
Man in mobility scooter, woman with terriers, cattle, calf

In the lane around the back of Cadham we encountered a fascinating grouping consisting of a gentleman in a mobility scooter, a woman, a terrier, and cattle with a calf. Naturally we waited for them to sort themselves out. The man, woman, and dog took themselves to the side of the road;


one of the cows cleaned its hoof; and the calf stayed firmly planted.

Woman and calf

The woman kindly shooed it off.

Outside Lyndhurst a less successful attempt was made to persuade another animal to move along.

Thatched cricket pavilion
Cricket match 9

Cricket match 10

This time a cricket match was set on a rather undulating piece of ground against a backdrop blessed with a rather splendid thatched pavilion.

Cricket and donkey

Cricket and donkeys 2

Cricket and donkeys 1

A pair of donkeys in the outfield ignored the flanneled sportsmen, and gradually made their way towards the pitch.

Cricket and donkeys 3

After a while one of the players clapped vigorously. This caused one to shift a few yards. It is possible that the cricketer was mindful of the rule about striking an obstruction with the ball. If a ball is hit to the boundary of the field without bouncing, six runs (as the points are called) are awarded. If the ball does hit the ground before crossing the line, the score is advanced by four runs. Whether or not the ball bounces first, a strike which hits an obstruction on the field of play is awarded 5 runs. Consequently hitting a donkey is worth 5.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb chilli con carne with vegetable rice and runner beans. I finished the cabernet sauvignon and Jackie drank Peroni.


Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

56 thoughts on “Five If You Hit A Donkey

  1. You know, I never knew a strike which hits an obstruction on the field of play scores 5, and I have umpired many a schoolboy match. What’s the hand signal?

  2. I didn’t know about the obstruction score either Derrick – but then we don’t have donkeys roaming around. Especially not on cricket pitches which are considered sacred ground wherever they are…..

    1. Many thanks, Pauline. Did you ever go to St Lawrence’s ground at Canterbury when you lived in Kent? That is where the Lime tree that stood inside the boundary stood for 200 years, and was, I believe, the reason for the introduction of the 5 runs rule.

      1. Oh, I did – I went on two or three occasions – and it was the only time I got to see cricket the whole time I was in the UK. And yet I still didn’t know about the rule!

  3. Hi Derrick, I love a good cricket match though I must admit I’ve never seen donkeys on the field. Perhaps they were carting the drinks! 😊

    1. Excellent idea, Miriam. Jackie is at this moment enlarging the pictures and revelling in the detail discovered. She has even seen the stitching on the ball. Thanks very much

  4. An excellent attempt to explain cricket! I had to do that once to a class of French students before they went out to play, I thought I had done it well, but the first five minutes play showed that I certainly hadn’t!

  5. I’ll be damned, Derick! I have been crazy about the game all my life but never knew the rule of the donkey! Cricket has been a bit harsh on the bowlers of late though, and I must admit I keep losing track of the newer rules being introduced each season. But haven’t they introduced a new aerial donkey (hovering cam) over the fields? That is amazing sports photography.

    1. Thanks very much, Uma. The rule all stemmed from a 200 year old elm inside the boundary at St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury, Kent. Jackie has enlarged all the pictures, and has even seen the stitching on the ball.

  6. I am not a game player. Its the rules. As soon as someone starts explaining it’s like I’ve gone deaf, dumb and blind and I have a strong desire to sleep. I’m sure its some kind of pathology. Nonetheless, a lovely post and so quintessentially British.

      1. I think you explained the game quite well. It’s just my attitude towards games generally leaves me blinking like a badger caught in a flashlight beam wondering what the heck is going on.

  7. Hello Derrick! So glad to be visiting for the first time in weeks and weeks, and to see your lovely photos. I love the mama leading her foal across the road!

  8. And I suppose its 5 if it hits derrickjknight too; or is that covered by the posts title?

    A quintessential English setting.

    I always thought that they were flanneled fools,

    Cricketers used to be sportsmen, sadly those days are gone, too much hugging, too much kissing, too much money and not enough play up play up and you know the rest.

    I once enjoyed cricket, it was a gentlemanly game and I’d like to have been one. A gentleman not a cricketer

    Seems this post has made me a trifle melancholy. but I really have enjoyed it, thanks Derrick. 🙂

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