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Posted By Ann

When I was a small child in England I went for wonderful imaginary rides on old Tommy's back. Imaginary in that we went nowhere other than in my mind but the big horse was real enough.

The work horses on the farm had stalls, a large leather collar was round each one's neck and this was attached to a chain which passed through a ring and then was attached to a large block of wood. Above these stalls was a hay loft. Tommy's place was next to the ladder which I climbed till I was level with his back, grabbed a large portion of his thick mane in both hands and swung astride him. I blench with the wisdom of hindsight; A movement from him and I would have crashed to the cobbled floor under his large hooves. As far as I know my parents were not aware of these secret rides. but we all entrust our children many times to the animals in our lives without a qualm.

Fiona Mottram described this caring quality in animals perfectly in her review of my book MAKE MINE A MULE when she wrote that ' Pepita was one of the animals who had the mix of brain smarts and emotional intelligence which leads them to take best care of the people they are entrusted with.'

Many wonderful dogs have looked after me and cats given me unstintingly of their love and emotional support and I am certainly not unique in this. Anyone who has truly loved and been loved by an animal can recall such times. So why do we call them pets? To me that word has come to have a patronising ring, they are our animal friends, even our guardian angels.

A kind and conscientious donkey in charge.

A kind and conscientious donkey in charge






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