In which Murphy is weaned, and travels to a new home.
Remember the endurance barn we scoped out for a friend? Daisy fell in love with it: deciding it was the best place for Murphy to grow up, turned out with babies close to his age. Acres and acres for him to build strong bones and tendons.
We’re anxious to see how Murphy made his first trip without mom. Dinero was pre-loaded to babysit. No one wanted Murphy scrambling around alone in the trailer.
I imagined Dinero looking over his shoulder at Murphy during loading: “Duuude…here…have some hay. This is like total awesomeness: Road Trip!”
It worked. Murphy wasn’t even slightly warm, not a damp hair on his body. He wasn’t upset, anxious, or remotely difficult. A little surprised, but calm.
Bella and Dinero walk Murphy up the hill to his new pasture. (Change is easier when you have company.)
A lot of company. Murphy travels with an entourage. (And paparazzi!)
The fog was so cold. Brrrrrr. We had about ten feet of visibility.
Team Murphy experienced a slight hiccup: the donkey came trotting out of the white stuff to greet him. Murphy got a teensy bit anxious, and asked if he could go back to the trailer now please.
It’s that way, right?
Dinero stepped in to meet Penelope, modeling normal adult behavior for Murphy.
Poor Murphy. It was a bit too much Meet and Greet on his first day of boarding school. He didn’t know what Penelope WAS. Plus she brought a young friend she had managed to break out.
With a little hauling around, and Dinero’s unruffled presence, we were soon on our way up the hill again. The loose baby was haltered, and removed, but Penelope had NO intention of being walked away from. Her Supreme Donkeyness was rather insulted.
The higher we went, the thicker and colder the fog became. By the time we got to the top of the hill (which we dubbed Mt. Murphy) you pretty much couldn’t see anything except what was right in front of you. But it does make for a lovely picture.
Murphy meets one of his new pasture mates.
Introductions went very well, with a minimum of posturing. There were a few herd dynamics to sort out, but they did it very politely, no hooves, no teeth. Some short chasing, some mean faces, some welcoming faces, and it settled into us knowing he was safe within ten minutes.
Meanwhile, Penelope is busy proving the long-eared maxim: God made donkeys at pocket height for a reason.
Dinero watched his tyke meld into the herd. He looked questioningly at Bella: Am I gonna have to babysit ALL of them?
You know, I can live with that. Food included?
Murphy was confused, but not panicked. He walked off into the fog for a bit, looking for mom. Daisy went after him, to make sure he didn’t fall off the planet. (That’s what tule fog feels like. Fall off the planet fog.)
He came back. Looked bewildered. Looked around into the white stuff. Wondered why he was now on the wrong side of the fence. All his people were on the other side.
You’re leaving…? Um. I think you forgot something…hellloooooo.
We left. He was quiet, thinking, trying to sort through all his new experiences.
The whole experience was as good as weaning gets. A little anxiety, but no fear or panic, and no running around screaming.
Murphy knew he was okay.
My heart cracked a little: after all this change, he still knew he was safe. Maybe uncertain about exactly what was going on, but he trusted his people.
That is a beautiful thing.