Thursday, August 28, 2008

Serious Donkey has a Ball

Aidan and I brought home a treat for the donkeys the other night. I finally broke down and got them a Jolly Ball to play with. After seeing Velvet's Baby (now known as "Elvis") play with one at his new home, I thought our donks might get a kick out of one, too.

Have you seen these before? They are heavy-duty, inflated balls with a handle built in, perfect for rough equine play. Some are even scented:

We chose the green apple one and it was an immediate hit:

Four of the five donkeys immediately had to have turns sniffing it:

...stepping on it:

...and biting it:

But then a funny thing happened. The donkey who is usually far too serious for such silliness actually wanted a turn.

Pistol, the alpha-donkey of our current herd, tends to be a bit of a loner. He spends a great deal of time not just standing apart from the other donkeys, but often with his back to them, staring off into the distance like he's contemplating deep thoughts. See him in the background below?:

This is how we've come to know Pistol. He seems to appreciate a certain amount of alone time:

But once he got that ball in his mouth,:

we got to see a whole new side to pensive Pistol:

Sure, he'd let others come by for a sniff:

He'd even let somebody get in a few nibbles (as long as you were female and named Holly):

But he wasn't going to let that ball go. He tried to make others feel like they were in on the game, like here, where he's banging Ian on the backside with it:

Or here, where he's rubbing Holly's neck with it:

But he was pretty clear that this ball was his now:

The others, of course, weren't about to argue with him, but they did get kind of bored:

And looked for other things to chew on:

However, Pistol paid no attention. He was too busy having a ball:


  1. Well, surprise, surprise! He shows you a bit of his lighthearted side. We have these at a local farm store. I thought of buying one for our lab. I think she would destroy it though!

  2. That little sneak! I had gotten pretty used to seeing mostly "bum" shots of Pistol. And here this whole time he was just waiting to have a little fun...

  3. Way to go Pistol! I have seen these balls before, I know some people have used them with their goats.

  4. Aww, that is SO cute and FUNNY! Wow, all your donkeys are so pretty--beautiful, really, and so funny looking with the ball!!! I wonder if Daisy would play with one, b/c she's the serious type, but then, Pistol is, too, so who knows? :D

    Great post.

  5. That is Pistols toy alright, now you need to buy one for everybody. That video is beyond cute!

  6. Toys for donkeys! Who knew? So fun!

  7. That is the cutest thing. That serious faced donkey with his new toy. Makes me want a donkey.
    I hear Roopert!

  8. How very cool that Pistol has revealed his playful side.

    George and Alan LOVE their jolly balls - they have two, plus 8 traffic cones, and an assortment of plastic pails (with the handles removed). What truly amazes me is that they'll take a ball or a cone out into the pasture, then bring it back to the corral.

    If everyone knew how playful donkeys are, we could put donkey rescues out of business.

  9. I'm a little more enamored of donkeys each time I read about them here. Too cute! I love the pic of Aidan draped over a donk.

  10. That is so funny! Who knew they would like to play like that.

  11. Very cute! The neighbors' dog RAN OFF with our horses' jolly ball! It DISAPPEARED! I bought them another one, but they were bored with it, so I brought it home for the dogs! They LOVE it! Go figure!

  12. OH MY GOODNESS DANNI!!! That is too funny, but I think you may have to make another trip to the Donkey Ball Store. I'm rooting for one for each and all different flavors to boot!!
    PS I won't be getting guinea balls...that could get expensive if they each had to have their own!!

  13. Looks like you'll be needing to buy more balls. One for each donk!
    It's good of Pistol to pretend to play with the others. I'm glad he's found something fun to do with his time.

  14. Hi,
    I just came across your blog. I love it! I am a country girl at heart and look forward to the day I can do just that. I live in Portland, Oregon and as much as I love this city my heart is with the animals and the open spaces of country living. I look forward to picking up tips and living vicariously through others farm adventures until I too can escape. The donkeys are adorable!

  15. Very cool! He really seems to like his new toy!

  16. I just LOVE donkeys and yours are pretty special! :) Yup, you need a few more jolly balls. My dogs always try to get in and steal Jasmines. :)

  17. This is adorable. I love the video and it is so cute to see Pistol playing. Donkeys are so fun.

  18. And you thought you had some preverse google hits before! ;) Go Pistol!

  19. How great is that?! That silly ball seems to have brought out the playful side of Pistol and made him less of a recluse. It looks like he just needed something to stimulate his imagination a little. Must be a smart fella.

    I love the photo of the one donkey biting the ball with one wild eye fixed on the camera.

  20. Oh, I LOVE this post! Look at those donks having fun. I can SO relate to Pistol. He is my favorite of the herd. I want a donkey ball too. I'll take the pink bubblegum scented one please! (The chooks want to know if they come in chicken sizes, worm scented of course!)

  21. That is the funniest video I've seen in a long time! Logan loved it too. And the pictures are great. How much fun to see donkeys playing.

  22. Hey! I just took a photo of the Jolly Ball when i went to Farm & Fleet with Clint. My son's last name is Joll(e)y, and I thought Jolly balls were funny.



    p.s. loved the video too.


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