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Journal Three: Diary of the Open Road

Diary of the Open Road

Diary of the Open Road: DONKEY

Diary of the Open Road: DONKEY

I've got a real treat for ya! Blog takeover by Morgan Hornibrook sharing recent adventures with a runaway donkey, a Childress, Texas town event. While I was tucked in a coffee shop writing yesterday's blog post, Morgan was chasing "Donkey" the donkey up and down highway 83. I've decided to do a one day delay on the daily roadtrip blog posts to help with managing them while travelling and trying to get some measure of sleep. So today's will be posted tomorrow and tomorrow's, the next day etc. In the meantime, enjoy this inspiring story of how a village brought a donkey home written by our guest writer, Morgan Hornibrook. 

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If you ever receive a text that says, “Donkey is on the loose. Can you help me catch her?” then your response should be an immediate “YES!" (At least, that’s what mine was). Before I get into how the next hour played out, here’s a little backstory. Donkey (yes, they named their donkey “Donkey") used to belong to my cousins. They had her for a couple of years, but when the drought hit, their yard became too small and they couldn’t stock up with hay fast enough. So, they gave Donkey to their family friends who have a really big field and a lot of other farm animals. A perfect fit! 

However, in the last week, Donkey has escaped twice. I don’t blame her, really. I mean, I’m basically doing the same thing right now. Right?? Anyway, the main gate to their property was left open by accident, making for an effortless getaway. When one of the family members realized, they were on their way out the door to work. They called my cousin, Jan, in desperation, “I think she’s on the highway somewhere???”

Jan grabbed a rope, we hopped in his truck and headed to the particular highway Donkey was thought to be on. Not too far down the road, there was Donkey. Happy and free. I almost didn’t want to take her back. She had made it to the open road! I know that feeling all too well.  

We had a few different tactics on how we could get her home safely. Our first idea was to entice her with food. Who isn’t motivated by food??? (I am, that's for sure). Turns out, Donkey isn't. She came and took a bite of the donkey feed I had in my hand, but I think that was just out of sheer curiosity, because she turned away and started off in the other direction. 

Next idea. Keep her moving by following her in the truck. We did that for about half a mile down the road, until the particular highway we were on was about to meet the busy Highway 83. Okay, busy for Childress. And as we learned, busy for a donkey too. Jan asked me if I could get out of the truck to try and “guide” Donkey to the left to keep her on track to her home. His instruction was “make a fence with your body.” Now, I’m not sure if everyone reading this knows me. Here’s what you need to know for the rest of this story: I’m a mere 5 feet, 2 inches. I hardly think that qualifies as a fence. But, another thing you should know about me: I’m determined. So you BET I made my tiny body into the biggest fence that I could. Here's a quick visual aid. 

Jan got out of his truck and tied his rope into a lasso and started swinging it above his head. Straight out of an old classic Western film. I got very excited thinking I was about to witness a donkey wrangle take place. But Donkey took off and that plan was also scrapped. 

Our next move was getting Donkey onto the shoulder of the busy highway, about a mile from her home. Despite my trying to be a fence, she crossed the road. Slowly. Stopping traffic. Some locals pulled over and got out to help. 

At this point I’m running down one side of the highway and Donkey is, I would say, lightly jogging. She really reminded me of how out of shape I am. When we finally reached the gate, I did a defensive shuffle slide (thank you to my parents for enrolling me in 8 years of basketball) in the middle of the highway. I successfully guided Donkey up the driveway and as she ran and I sprinted after, the gates opened and she was home! Home sweet home, as they say. 

Moral of the story: there’s no moral of the story. Sarah needed me to tell a story, and I came through, like the good donkey wrangler I am. If any of you do think of a good moral to this story, be sure to email inquiries@sarahkierstead.co or comment below!!! 

PS: My sincerest apologies that I don't have a photo of the attempted lassoing of Donkey. Believe me, I wish I did. You know how it is, the heat of the moment. 

sarah kierstead