6.27.2011

Hip Hip Mooray


Inspired by a real-life story from Mr. Whitlock's family farm, today's post is the fictional tale of a donkey in search of his "raison d'etre" - reason for being - in the voice of the little goat who befriends him.  If you ever find yourself in Morray's predicament, I hope you'll care enough to keep searching!

   We were all living together on Uncle Paul’s farm, the ducks, the range cattle, the older goats, and me. Life was pretty simple really. The ducks swam with the ducks, the cattle grazed with one other, and we goats got into mischief together. I know I’m just a kid, but it seemed to me that things fit together perfectly!
   Until a few days ago, when Mooray showed up. 
   With his long thin face, his sad brown eyes, and his big oval ears, he didn’t look like any of us.  He didn’t talk like us, either, with his ear-piercing Hee Haw sounds.  And he didn’t act like any of us.  Even his name was odd.  He was so different that everyone else thought that this was some sort of mistake, that he might not really belong on our farm.  Me?  I wasn’t sure yet.
   After several days of keeping his distance and watching from afar, Mooray tried to break in with the ducks.  Were they ever surprised when that big brown donkey took a dive into the water where they were taking a morning dip!  When his big splash sent the feathered friends flying, they quacked at him to kindly stay out of their pond.  I’m not kidding when I say that you don’t want to know what happened when he tried to join them for a round of Duck-Duck-Goose.
   A few days later, Mooray mustered up the courage to ask the cows to share some grass from their pasture, but they just bellowed for him to moooove it along.  Mooray got discouraged and didn’t even bother to ask if he could cruise with the calves.  After that, Mooray spent a lot of time by himself.  I know, because I was curious and kept an eye on him.  I wondered why he’d been brought to Uncle Paul’s farm; what was his purpose for being there?  Why weren’t there others of his kind? 
   One afternoon, I got brave and asked him join our game of Hide and Goat Seek.  Though he’d never played it before, Mooray reluctantly accepted my invitation.  He picked okay hiding places, but his size made him pretty easy - okay, simple! - to find and he spent most of the time being “it.”  He wasn’t very good at finding us either, so the other goats in the herd decided that Mooray wasn’t really cut out for this game.
   Mooray seemed kind of lost, confused, and alone.  I felt so bad for him.  Surely there was some way that he could fit in, somewhere that he belonged.  But how?  Where?
One night, we heard an all-too familiar noise, that of a hungry coyote looking for dinner.  The ducks waddled toward our rock pile with the cows right behind them, and there we all stood, frozen like statues, waiting to see what that coyote might do. 
   Mooray, on the other hand, wasn’t waiting for anything.  He instinctively jumped into action.  He bravely brayed a warning and paced back and forth in front of us as if he were a palace guard protecting his queen and her castle. As the coyote approached, Mooray charged toward him and kicked in his direction so swiftly that it scared that wild dog back into the woods.  Mooray had saved our lives.  Turns out he's a guard donkey. 
I know, I know, you’ve never heard of such a thing.  We hadn’t either.  A guardian angel, maybe, but a guardian donkey?  But it was perfect for Mooray; he was exactly what we needed.  He found his purpose and we enjoyed a new-found peace.  We huddled around him, the ducks, the cows, and the goats, and let out a barnyard cheer for our new guardian friend:  Hip-Hip-Mooray, Hip-Hip-Mooray, Hip-Hip-Mooray! 
   We slept more soundly than ever before that night and every night since then, because with our guardian donkey on duty we know we’ll be protected and that makes us feel safe.  Mooray sleeps well, too, because he found a way to connect and now he’s right where he belongs.

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