About a month ago, I decided the family needed a change. I wanted to shake things up a bit and in the process, stir up some inspiration dust. I also decided my kids needed pets to hang around, but it wasn’t going to be your standard guinea-pig-in-a-cage pet. It was at that time, I began to understand why some folks look at me and wonder about how many crayons are in my Crayola box.
That decided, I began searching Kijiji for the perfect pet. I wanted something that would be outside because I hate animals inside unless they live in a glass jar. I also wanted it to be useful. I admit, I really wanted a Tamworth pig, but when I realised my middle son – the one who gets attached to everything including an old chesterfield with broken legs – would be traumatise by my eating his pet he played with all summer, I decided against it.
One day I saw a miniature donkey for sale. I admit, I hadn’t realised they made miniature donkeys – they meaning Mother Nature and her faerie associates. I had heard of and had seen miniature ponies. They were cute and manageable because of their size. The more I thought about it, the more I could see a donkey in my future. My youngest child was so light-weight, he could even ride the jenny around the yard. Wouldn’t that be fun? And we’d have a lawn mower that didn’t take gas.
I answered the ad and that’s when I realised I had taken too long to consider the purchase. A dozen others had already inquired about the pet, and I was out of luck. But I kept looking, and the moment I saw Mayzie for sale, I jumped on the ad. Phew! After a few short messages and a visit, Mayzie was our new pet.
And then the work began. Before Mayzie could come to her new home, I had to renovate the shed and somehow transform it into a barn. And I did. But it took me away from the computer for a few days and I missed a blog posting and hadn’t answered about 20 messages.
Then came the fence and several more days of missed computer time. More messages began piling up. Add 20 hours working outside the home, picking up hay and chicks, taking kids to swimming, riding and appointments and picking up food so they wouldn’t starve, took more time away from the computer.
Now that all that work is done and it’s raining, I can begin to catch up a bit. But I won’t have much time to relax. The kids have already mucked out the stall several times and have filled a wheelbarrow with droppings. My next project – the compost bins to stock pile the manure – is needed immediately. But as I said, it’s raining, so I can sit here without worrying I should be outside swinging a hammer.
Seeing my kids spend most of their home hours with their new pet makes all the hard work worth it. Seeing them scramble out of bed in the morning to be the first to open up the barn is priceless. Seeing them fight over who gets to muck out the stall and pick up the manure from the pasture is something I’d thought I’d never see. Imagine, two kids arguing to be the one picking up poo. It reminds me of a story in which a boy named Tom had all his friends arguing and paying to be the one painting the fence.
On a writing note, Mayzie has provided some inspiration. My daughter said that she was going to include a miniature donkey in her next story. I chuckled and said one would wind its way into mine, too. It only seemed right because the experts were always saying, “Write what you know.”