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What Donkeys Can Teach Us About Being Human

With a Ph.D. in psychology and a passion for animals, FlourishAnyway knows animals can teach us more about living healthy, fulfilling lives.

Donkeys develop strong attachments to humans and other animals and live an average of 40 years.  Full of character, they are different from horses emotionally, physically, and socially.  Let them teach you some life lessons.

Donkeys develop strong attachments to humans and other animals and live an average of 40 years. Full of character, they are different from horses emotionally, physically, and socially. Let them teach you some life lessons.

You Have a Donkey?

It's been a few years since my brother and his family have "gone country." To their three cats, they added rabbits, then chickens, and a cow.

They have since added a couple of pigs, a goat, sheep, and two dogs. Now, they have a sweet donkey named Dixie.

"Seriously? You have a donkey?" I asked. "As in an ass?"

Donkey love.  Insert your own joke here.

Donkey love. Insert your own joke here.

Let the Off-Color Jokes Begin

From that point, the off-color "ass" jokes poured forth, and they haven't let up. He also gets playfully teased at work, as coworkers and others remark:

  • "That is one mighty fine ass you have."
  • "You really showed your ass."
  • "Can you bring your ass over here?"
  • "What a big ass you have!"
  • "Is your wife riding your ass again?"
  • "Did you spend the weekend on your ass?"
  • "Can I touch your ass?"

He had to expect this.

These are some fine looking asses.  Donkeys, that is.

These are some fine looking asses. Donkeys, that is.

You'd Swear We Were in Eighth Grade

With all the uncontrollable giggling and double entendres, you'd swear we were a bunch of eighth-graders!

Dixie is such a friendly donkey, coming when called and braying when she feels lonely or sees people approaching. Although she has the run of the large fenced-in backyard, Dixie perceives herself as part of their family. Sometimes she makes her way to their deck. (Does she want in?)

She is most at home when my brother's five kids are feeding her by hand or riding her with great drama, cowboys and Indians style.

Dixie, my brother's pet donkey, says no name calling!  You're not always so nice yourself.

Dixie, my brother's pet donkey, says no name calling! You're not always so nice yourself.

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

— Victor Borge, Danish humorist

You can't always suppress a giggle or a snort.

You can't always suppress a giggle or a snort.

Dixie's Sad Past

Whatever you do, however, don't display anything that appears to be a stick. Such things send her pitifully fleeing in fear. Dixie's last owners mistreated her—which makes me think the real ass in that relationship couldn't have been Dixie.

Grow Up for Just a Minute, Will You?

No matter who we are, we all have a story to tell—no matter whether we are two- or four-legged, long-eared or not. Dixie and her donkey friends are thus not all that different from humans.

Donkeys don't want to be the "butt of jokes" any longer (sorry, there I go again!). As a result, they are willing to share some of their life lessons with you—if you'll grow up for a minute. I'll try, too, but I can't promise miracles.

Some of us work hard.  Some of us prefer to sit on our ass.

Some of us work hard. Some of us prefer to sit on our ass.

Lesson 1: Work Hard and Bray a Little

With over 40 million donkeys worldwide these strong, sure-footed animals know the value of hard work. The vast majority of donkeys serve as draught or pack animals in underdeveloped countries.

Donkeys have been employed as working animals for more than five millennia, chiefly in agriculture and in transporting both goods and people. They are also used as companion animals in developed countries.

Because donkeys are generally friendly and intelligent creatures, people use them for a variety of other tasks as well, including:

  • guarding flocks of sheep against fox, dogs, and coyote predators
  • serving as soothing companions to racehorses, injured and nervous horses, and foals during weaning
  • assisting backpackers with hauling their equipment, and
  • providing rides and companionship for children and people with disabilities.1
Isn't this donkey Living The Dream, making himself useful through the wonder of hard work?  Notice there's no boss around.  That's the best type of work!  Go live Your Dream!

Isn't this donkey Living The Dream, making himself useful through the wonder of hard work? Notice there's no boss around. That's the best type of work! Go live Your Dream!

The Poor Donkeys of Santorini

Unfortunately, sometimes we humans take advantage of donkeys' work ethic. Take the case of the donkeys of Santorini, Greece, who must climb up and down 600 steep, slippery steps as many as seven times a day.2

They zig-zag their way along an 800-foot cliff hefting obese tourists—some of whom weigh more than the donkeys themselves.

The tourists disembark cruise ships and imagine that it would be quaint to use rustic transportation locally—even though a modern cable car has been established compliments of a humane organization that was concerned about the donkeys' welfare.

The animals are whipped, permitted little rest in the heat, and often wear ill-fitting harnesses that create open sores. Unfortunately, the donkeys' occasional loud braying is not enough to end their plight.

Why? Tourist demand perpetuates the practice.

When is the last time you worked this hard?  This Ethiopian donkey hardly has the good life.

When is the last time you worked this hard? This Ethiopian donkey hardly has the good life.

Benefits of Working (For Humans)

While humans don't have to be beasts of burden, there are benefits from working hard and being useful. (You can do this both inside and outside of the home.) Live Your Dream!

Studies have shown that paid employment is related to:

  • reduced risk of depression
  • greater life satisfaction
  • higher self-esteem and
  • fewer doctor visits.3

But just make sure it's a quality job that you enjoy.

That's because research also found average decreases in mental health among people who went from unemployment to poor quality jobs -- that is, jobs with low levels of control, low job complexity, high job insecurity, and unfair pay.

Fortunately, we usually have a voice and a choice with employment, so don't let coworkers or employers treat you like those poor donkeys of Santorini! Bray a little when you need to.

This zonkey's daddy is a zebra and his mama is a donkey.  Odd couple, even odder baby?

This zonkey's daddy is a zebra and his mama is a donkey. Odd couple, even odder baby?

Know Your Donkey Cross-Breeds

When donkeys are cross-bred with their creature cousins, we get a variety of hybrids.4

Here's what they are called:

  • mule: male donkey crossed with a female horse
  • hinney: male horse crossed with a female donkey
  • zonkey: a male zebra and female donkey
  • zebret: a female zebra and male donkey

"So what about a burro?" you ask. They are feral donkeys (i.e., undomesticated, living in the wild).

Sometimes I laugh my ass off for no reason.

Sometimes I laugh my ass off for no reason.

Lesson 2: Have a Wit That's Even Sharper Than Your Teeth

Over many centuries, donkeys have adapted to dry, warm environments, and have become accustomed to traversing as much as nine miles (approximately 15 km) of rough terrain daily.5 Traditionally, donkeys have fed off the sparse, arid grasses which were highly abrasive on their teeth.

As a result, they evolved teeth that are both sharp and which wear constantly.

Today, dental disease in donkeys is second only to hoof problems. Donkeys require regular dental check-ups just like humans do to prevent

  • abscessed teeth
  • weight loss
  • periodontal disease, and
  • teeth that are loose, missing, or growing into the sides of their mouths. (Ouch!)

A donkey with nasty breath therefore may likely be a donkey with dental issues. Understandably, it may also be one in "foul" humor.

And humor is important...

Dental disease is second only to hoof problems in donkeys.  They require regular dental check-ups just like we do.

Dental disease is second only to hoof problems in donkeys. They require regular dental check-ups just like we do.

Donkey Facts: Did You Know?

  • Jackass refers to a male donkey, while jenny or jennet refers to a female donkey.
  • In sports or poker, a "donkey" is an unskillful player.
  • Loud donkey brays (he-hawing) can be heard over distances of up to two miles (three kilometers).
  • The first donkeys came to the Americas in 1495 aboard the second voyage of Christopher Columbus.
  • "Donkey" is a word that was invented in the late 1700s, although no one is sure of its precise origin. It originally rhymed with "monkey." Before that, donkeys were known as "asses."
I knew you were checking me out.  Do you like what you see?

I knew you were checking me out. Do you like what you see?

LOL: The Benefits of Humor

While I'm certainly not advocating "biting" humor, there is a range of benefits to a chortle, a guffaw, or a good belly laugh.

You know the type of hearty laugh that involves accidentally snorting through your nose? Go ahead! That is very healthy laughing, even if it is a bit embarrassing!

Research has found that laughter is associated with these health-boosting benefits:

  • reduced levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. (Chronically high levels of cortisol are implicated in weight gain and the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.)
  • higher levels of endorphins, the body's natural painkiller. This increases our tolerance for pain.6
  • a stronger immune system.
  • feelings of relaxation, as blood pressure and heart rate fall below normal levels.
  • better mood, a sense of well-being, increased self-esteem, and optimism.
  • lower levels of depression and anxiety.
"My, what big ears you have!"

"My, what big ears you have!"

Humor therapy has been demonstrated to be as effective in treating depression as anti-psychotic drugs.7 Humor is also used to help dementia patients in lieu of anti-psychotic medication and as a complementary therapy for assisting cancer patients and chronic pain sufferers in coping with their illness.8

As if all of these benefits were not enough, there are social and cognitive benefits to humor, too:

  • increased friendliness, sense of belonging, and attractiveness to others
  • greater memory for humorously presented material
  • more helping behavior, and more satisfying relationships; and
  • enhanced problem solving and creativity, as humor encourages you to look at things from a different perspective. Humor involves connecting things that previously had no obvious linkage.

All of these benefits should have you looking for your next LMAO moment. What perfect reasons to watch funny videos, swap jokes with friends, or even pull harmless pranks on one another!

The Donkey Sanctuary, based in the United Kingdom, protects donkeys and mules and promotes their welfare worldwide.

The Donkey Sanctuary, based in the United Kingdom, protects donkeys and mules and promotes their welfare worldwide.

Lesson 3: Know What You Want

Donkeys have an unfair reputation for being stubborn, difficult, and hard to budge. In their defense, however, I shall explain, although mind you, they don't think they need this.

Donkeys are intelligent and curious creatures who are not easily startled. Whereas horses may rear up, buck, or bolt when frightened, donkeys tend to stop and assess the situation.9 If they sense that you are leading them into a situation that is against their best interests or which is unsafe, they stop to assess it.

Independent thinkers that they are, donkeys ponder, "Why should I do this? Is this person seeing the red flags I am? Is this the best thing to do? Is it safe for us both?"

Then they don't do it unless you can convince them through deed and action that they can trust you to lead them through this. Whipping, bribery, and other untrustworthy acts simply won't work.

Like a donkey, you should know what you want. Then, evaluate the situation for yourself.

Sometimes that means being called belligerent, stubborn, difficult, hard to get along with, or worse! That's okay. You need to protect yourself and be comfortable with your own decisions.

Don't let others goad you into making choices you are uncomfortable with, especially if you feel these choices might be against your best interests or safety.

Go willingly only when you're ready—even if they call you a "stubborn old ass."

Donkeys aren't necessarily stubborn.  They just need to be comfortable with their decisions.  Now get your ass out of here.

Donkeys aren't necessarily stubborn. They just need to be comfortable with their decisions. Now get your ass out of here.

Hoofin' It

Before I offend anyone else, this donkey lover is going to hoof it. Next time you see one of these smart assess—I'm talking about the donkeys—know that they are also sensitive, inquisitive, hardworking, and have a story to tell.

Also know that you can learn from them if only you'll listen.

He-haw! He-haw!

Three asses are better than one.

Three asses are better than one.

Does Eeyore Suffer From Depression?

I'm worried about Eeoyre—you know, Disney's Dismally Depressed Donkey. His glum mood and self-defeating talk have gone on far too long -- since I was a child or even longer. Frankly, he's a Downer Donkey, and he needs our help.

Before you think I'm the one with the "issue," I'll have you know that I'm not the only one who's noticed Eeyore's pathological downcast demeanor.10

I've tried talking to Tigger about it, but he has an excessively low attention span, jumping fervently from topic to topic. I couldn't keep him focused, so I gave up and went to Pooh. However, Pooh was preoccupied as usual with where he would get his next Hunny fix. (Sounds like addictive behavior to me.)

Owl only wanted to talk about himself. Piglet was too afraid to talk. (I'm worried about his stutter.) Christopher Robin didn't believe I was real because I wasn't an animated character.

Friends, what do we do?

Here's what I think our Downcast Disney Donkey has:

Dysthymic Disorder, a state of chronic low-grade depression (at least two years). He seems to meet most of these criteria:

  • Overeating or poor appetite (Yes, Eeyore is portly!)
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings of hopelessness.11

Do you think Eeyore has unresolved issues regarding the loss of his tail? Perhaps the repeated loss of his home has caused him this distress?

Perhaps he could benefit from Humor Therapy. Tell me if you agree he needs our help. What are the next steps? We need him to flourish anyway!

I am concerned about Eeyore.  I think he has dysthymia.  Is it time he finally got help?

I am concerned about Eeyore. I think he has dysthymia. Is it time he finally got help?


1The Robinson Ranch. "What Can a Donkey Do?" Wonderful Longeared World of Donkeys. Last modified November 30, 2003.

2My Greece Travel Blog. "Tourists urged not to ride the donkeys on Santorini." Last modified April 12, 2013.

3Zabkiewicz, Denise, and Laura A. Schmidt. "The Mental Health Benefits of Work: Do They Apply to Welfare Mothers with a Drinking Problem?" Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research 36, no. 1 (2008): 96-110. Accessed October 15, 2013.

4Wikipedia. "Donkey." Last modified October 6, 2016.

5The Donkey Sanctuary. (2011, January 4). Free online donkey dental advice for owners. Retrieved from

6Chan, Amanda. "Laughter Ups Pain Tolerance, Study Says." The Huffington Post. Last modified September 14, 2011.

7Public Broadcasting Service. "Benefits of humor." Last modified 2009.

8Nauert, Rick. "Humor Therapy Helps Manage Dementia." Psych Central. Last modified September 22, 2011.

9Gore, Rick. "Horsemanship-Think Like a Horse." Think Like a Horse-Rick Gore Horsemanship®. Accessed January 27, 2014.

10Shea, Sarah E., Kevin Gordon, Ann Hawkins, Janet Kawchuk, and Donna Smith. "Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne." Canadian Medical Association Journal 163, no. 12 (2000): 1557-1559. Accessed October 17, 2013.

11Psych "Dysthymic Disorder Symptoms." Last modified 2013.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have two donkeys -- a male and pregnant female. They seem to be ok, but when I feed them the male bites the female, and he eats the majority of the food. Should I separate them or feed them separately?

What should I do to improve the behavior of the male donkey?

Answer: Biting is a dominance behavior. Since it's imperative that the female receives adequate nutrition not only for herself but also for her unborn foal, you can either establish multiple feed stations or separate them when feeding. If you continue to have problems, it's important to contact a veterinarian who specializes in equines/farm animals. Donkeys are social and having contact with another donkey is typically beneficial.

© 2013 FlourishAnyway


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 23, 2018:

Margie - That would be fun! It’s always fun to have someone to act out with. Thanks a bunch for reading and for the kind kudos.

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on March 22, 2018:

Oh my gosh, you are a hoot! I would love to spend the day with you, I am sure I would get some great laughs! What a gifted writer you are, I love reading your articles!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 26, 2016:

Joyette - Thanks a bunch. If I had a farm, I'd adopt a couple of donkeys as pets. I admire their sweet dispositions.

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on October 26, 2016:

A very interesting article. Your humor is awesome! You did a great job of working serious lessons for humans into this hub about donkeys. Also I never knew there was so much to donkeys. Thanks for sharing all this information.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 20, 2015:

Audrey - Thanks for your sweet, kind encouragement. I can tell you are an animal lover like I am. I wish I could save them all.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on August 19, 2015:

I rarely vote a hub straight across but I did on this one. It has everything - from great photos to clearly stated information and stories about donkeys and mules.

I love "Dixie." I even found tears in my eyes reading about her former abuse. Bless you for giving her a wonderful, loving home.

My heart is pained when I think of the poor, overworked mules climbing those stairs of Santorini being treated so cruel. I wish I could rescue them all.

I love the amazon capsule for donkey breath and Listerine :) Will share this and pin on my animal board.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 04, 2015:

Catherine - Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing! Donkeys are such sweet animals if you get to know and understand them. Have a wonderful July 4th holiday!

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on July 04, 2015:

You had me laughing from word 1. You went from jokes to pathos (the mistreatment of these animals) to interesting facts about donkey's. Voted Up +++ and H+

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on July 04, 2015:

You had me laughing from woaord 1. this is such a fun and informative hub. You went from jokes to pathos (mistreated donkeys) to great inspirational reminders about how to be successful and happy in life. It was a treat to read this. voted up+++ and H+.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on April 03, 2015:

I never knew that donkeys had such sweet and brilliant personalities. Comparing them to humans was a good strategy to help us see our own inner er, ass.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 18, 2015:

Susie - Thank you for your kind compliment. Have a great week!

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on March 18, 2015:

I have know idea how you come up with stuff. That sense of humor you have must work over time, Flourish. :P

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 17, 2015:

Shyron - Great perspective! Thank you for stopping by!

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 16, 2015:

Flourish, this was such a delight to read.

To answer the question does the big ears make the "ass" look big? No the ears look big.

Remember the Mother of Jesus was riding an ass, that is what it says in the Bible.

Voted Up++++

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on May 02, 2014:

Rajan - Thanks for your kind kudos!

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 02, 2014:

Oh, what an ass! Truly never thought so much could be learned from this much despised animal.

Very interestingly written, Flourish and it was a pleasure reading it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2014:

Brian - Thanks for reading. Dixie is a real sweet donkey and pretty easy to get along with. She brays loudly when she sees someone coming to feed her. It's really cute.

Brian Prickril from Savannah, GA on February 08, 2014:

I was born in the year of the ox which is a hard working sign. I'm quite sure that Dixie and I would get along fine. I have never heard of a zonkey or zebret. That looks like mad scientist kind of stuff.

p.s. I enjoyed your Pinterest site. Thanks for "pinning" me.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on January 09, 2014:

Suzanne - Glad you enjoyed my brother's donkey, Dixie, and the other donkey photos. I saw donkey Dixie over Christmas and she was as beautiful and spirited as ever.

justmesuzanne from Texas on January 09, 2014:

Fun information and great donkey pics! Voted up, useful, funny and awesome! :)

John Fisher from Easton, Pennsylvania on December 18, 2013:

@FlourishAnyway-interesting. I never heard of a zonkey or zebret before. Like the picture "Do these ears make my ass look big?"

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 16, 2013:

Suzanne - Thanks so much for the feedback. I love doing the animal hubs, combing facts about them and psychology.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on November 16, 2013:

Too right. All of your animal hubs are fascinating, I don't know where you came up with the idea, but it's a great concept!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 16, 2013:

Suzanne - Thanks for reading and commenting. I am sometimes guilty of being a smart ass, lazy ass, tired old ass, lots of things. Glad I kept you interested.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on November 16, 2013:

A most amusing read. You kept my attention all the way to the end - and I didn't know you could make people relate to donkeys so well! I know the feeling of being lardy, lazy and a tired ass! Voted up and more ;)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 16, 2013:

Eddy - Thanks for stopping by. That is a lovely sentiment, and I hope you do win the lottery.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 16, 2013:

I thought I had commented here ;oh well never mind. I loved this gem as I have soft spot for donkeys and one of my dreams if I won the lottery would be to set up a sanctuary for the aged or unwell.

Thank you again for sharing this gem.


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 29, 2013:

WhiteMuse - Thanks for reading and commenting. Donkeys are indeed beautiful animals.

WhiteMuse on October 29, 2013:

I just love donkeys. I wish I could have them around.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 29, 2013:

Dolores - Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and sharing. I love donkeys, too. They are fun and spirited as well as hard working.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on October 29, 2013:

I loved donkeys so really enjoyed this one. Your pictures are wonderful.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 23, 2013:

Osome Sabri - Thanks for stopping by. I'm so happy you enjoyed this!

Sabri BenChaabane on October 23, 2013:

Awesome and Amusing!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 22, 2013:

Alison - I appreciate the warm kudos! Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for reading and commenting!

Alison Graham from UK on October 22, 2013:

I absolutely loved reading this brilliant hub, thank you so much for an entertaining and educational read and for the great photos, references and humor.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 21, 2013:

Dreamhowl - Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I agree with you. There's nothing cuter than a baby donkey!

Jessica Peri from United States on October 21, 2013:

I love this - such great advice and adorable pictures! Last year I got to pet some baby donkeys at a fair and they were unbearably cute.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 21, 2013:

tobusiness - Thanks for reading and commenting. Donkeys are wonderful and undervalued, the Rodney Dangerfields of the animal world.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on October 21, 2013:

A delightfully informative hub with some great images! The donkey is such a placid and hard working animal, unfortunately many are very badly treated.

Still, I loved the donkey jokes...did you hear the one about the man in a bar who made the doney cry, then made him laugh...:)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 20, 2013:

Liz - Thank you for stopping by and for sharing. Dixie is a real darling. I'd love to get a video of the kids doing cowboys and Indians riding with her. It is hilarious and everyone enjoys it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 20, 2013:

agusfanani - I love that saying! Donkeys are very wise and we should be very grateful for their friendship and service. Thanks for reading and adding that!

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on October 20, 2013:

This was such an awesome hub all around. I love all of the references, the pictures and the information. A lot of things I didn't know in here. I never really looked at a close-up picture of a donkey and Dixie is beautiful! Down the road there's a horse ranch here and they have two donkeys in with the horses. So very cute. Thanks for posting this wonderful hub. Voted up and sharing!

agusfanani from Indonesia on October 20, 2013:

We should be grateful for donkeys to be around us and give those useful advice. There is a proverb in my country learned from donkeys too saying "A donkey never stumbles on the same rock" which means that we shouldn't do the same mistakes. How smart and cautious donkeys are.

Thank you for giving us compilation of those useful lessons. Vote up this useful, funny and interesting hub.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 20, 2013:

Benjamin- Glad you enjoyed this. Donkeys can teach us a lot. They work hard, supervised or not. Have a great day.

Benjamin Chege on October 20, 2013:

Hi FlourishAnyWay. Great hub. Never thought a donkey can teach me lessons!! Now I do, I like the part of working hard with little or no supervision. Voted up, funny and interesting

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 18, 2013:

DDE - I'm sure you can hear as well as see them! They are friendly, hardworking creatures. Thanks for reading and commenting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 18, 2013:

Phil Dynan - Three cheers for Nugoro and the excellent work that he does for you. Sounds like a wonderful symbiotic relationship. I am glad you are wonderful friends, as well. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Phil Dynan from London, United Kingdom on October 18, 2013:

Great piece! Just wanted to add the job of our donkey, Nugoro, which has made my life so much better: he provides us with two acres of "fire clearance" surrounding our 2000-sq-ft art studio on the ranch. His services are invaluable and he is a great friend and companion as well.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 18, 2013:

Lessons Learned From Donkeys: How To Live Your Best Life you know some people still do have donkeys around where I live. I was amazed when I saw a few not so long ago. An interesting and informative hub,

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Heidi - Glad you liked this and I appreciate your reading. I sure recall that show too awhile back!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Faith - Glad you enjoyed this. Dixie is much loved in the country with my brother's family. I bet it was hilarious to see your reaction to your neighbor's donkey. I guess thet bray when you are late with feeding, bray when they are lonely, bray to alert others to danger or something unusual. Guess you were the "something unusual.". Thank you for your support!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on October 17, 2013:

LOL, Flourish, you are one creative writer and so funny!!!

Dixie is a beautiful ... donkey indeed! Thank you for sharing about her life. I love the photos of her. She is a star!

Wonderful hub from start to finish. When we moved to the country, well small town, from the city, I truly had never heard a donkey bray before, and never would have realized just how loud it is! I just arrived home from work and walking down my driveway to pull up the large trash can back up the driveway, and thinking about just how much I enjoyed the serenity of country life, when out of the blue, I heard the most horrific noise I had ever heard. I let go of the trash can which went rolling down the driveway and turned my head all around trying to figure out from where such a noise was coming, and I saw a donkey braying in the pasture across from my home. I know that if any of my neighbors happened to be looking out of their window at the time, must have gotten a good laugh and thought, boy, that city girl needs to return to the city! Every morning when I wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for my hour commute into the city, I can hear my dear donkey friend braying from a distance in one of the back pastures hehehe. Now, I do not blink an eye when hearing such.

Long ago when I worked at an insurance company, as a District Claims Assistant to the District Manger over 13 counties, we had this one attorney who would call to request a draft and his voice sounded just like Eeyore! LOL

Thank you for the delightful read and bringing many smiles this evening.

Up and more and sharing

Hugs, Faith Reaper

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on October 17, 2013:

Too funny! But some interesting facts for sure. Now the Hee-Haw show theme song is running through my head. And I definitely want to see a real zonkey one day. :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Nell - Thanks for reading, voting, and sharing. I feel sorry for the donkeys carrying fat tourists and the not-so-fat ones too. It's nice of your family to donate to the donkey charity. From what I read about them when researching, they sounded very worthy of support.

Nell Rose from England on October 17, 2013:

Lol! I absolutely loved this! We are Donkey mad in my family, my mum used to belong to the Donkey sanctuary down in Devon I think it was, no she wasn't the ass....! lol! she sent them money and they always sent her a Donkey Christmas card and letters etc from them telling her how the Donkeys were doing. Its so darn sad that people still think its fun to ride a donkey up those hills, people should stop and think for a moment, sadly they won't because they are on vacation! great hub Flourish, voted up and shared! nell

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Oh, Jackie, that's so funny! Laughing like a donkey...

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 17, 2013:

This was a smile, from end to end. I could have said that differently, but I won't. lol ^

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Frank - I appreciate the kudos. You're pretty darn funny and creative yourself!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

drmiddlebrook - Glad you enjoyed the creativity. Hope others do too! I appreciate your reading and commenting!

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on October 17, 2013:

you are so creative, funny and you wrote an entertaining hub.. but if I blow it up you'll find ass everywhere...:) great share my friend...bless you

Sallie Beatrice Middlebrook PhD from Texas, USA on October 17, 2013:

Really enjoyed reading this. Well researched, delightfully (and creatively) presented.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

PegCole17 - Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Some of us unlucky donkeys tend to take on more of our share of work than others on the job and become beasts of burden, or at least it feels like that. That's how I went from Living the Dream to becoming a Tired Old Ass (or maybe just a Smart Ass). Hope you've fared better, my friend!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on October 17, 2013:

Funny and creative, this was pleasurable reading as well as educational. I enjoyed your humor, your pictures and your relating donkey behaviors to work. There was a lot to learn here about the different types of donkeys, too. Very interesting.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Victoria Lynn - So glad you enjoyed this. I was afraid I may have gone right up to the line with this one and even tiptoed across here or there! That zonkey is an unfortunate fella with his weird socks and ears. Even his mane (or whatever you call it) is stripey. I hope his zoo friends don't laugh at him. Poor guy. Maybe we should discuss bullying with the zoo.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on October 17, 2013:

Such a great hub! I love Eeyore and can often relate to his down moods. :-) Dixie is adorable, and I love all the "ass" jokes. Oh, that poor, poor zonkey with the fancy socks. LOL. You really did a lot of work on this one. It's impressive. I gave you all the votes! Thanks for making me smile.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Jaye - Thanks for reading and commenting. Horses and zebras can also mix. They call them "zorses." Who knew? Glad you enjoyed this!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

kidscrafts - You have me chuckling and grinning ear to ear with the thought (oh the terrible thought!) of naughty first graders wearing donkey ears. I do know a child or two who could use them from time to time. You have a fantastic day. You've just made mine with that image!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on October 17, 2013:

Great hub, Flourish! The advantage of not knowing completely all the nuances and meanings of English is that I didn't know about the "ass" word for a donkey! But on the other way.... I am learning every day :-)

What a beautiful donkey your brother has! It must be great for his kids to grow surrounded by animals. I can't understand why people would abuse a donkey or any animal for that matter!

I went to Santorini and I remember that it was one of the options to go down the island..... but I preferred the elevator! If I would have had time I would have taken the steps!

I remember in grade one, that the teacher had some type of headbands with long ears for those of us who would not make our homework... or had bad results! I don't remember if I ever had to wear them..... either I deeply repressed it or it never happened :-) But the principle is that it represent donkeys as stupid animals that they are not!

Great comparison between humans and donkeys :-) I think I have a little bit of donkey in me ;-)

Voted up, interesting and awesome!

Have a great day, Flourish!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on October 17, 2013:

Very interesting! I thought I knew the origin of donkeys and mules, but was surprised to learn that zebras can be thrown in the mix as well.

Donkeys are certainly hardworking animals, and it pains me to think of those poor overworked beasts of burden climbing the stairs of Santorini repeatedly while carrying--dare I say it?--larda$$ed tourists. Cruelty to animals takes many forms, and both the owners and tourists are to blame.

There are, indeed, many positive lessons about life to be learned from donkeys.

Voted Up++++


FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Crafty - Glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for reading and commenting!

CraftytotheCore on October 17, 2013:

What an awesome Hub! I just love reading all of your Hubs, but this one is truly creative. I love the side notes about the Winnie the Pooh gang as well. So funny!