Pam Stone | If ornery donkey can make a friend, so can world leaders

April 13, 2014 

It just goes to show that there’s someone for everybody.

Certainly there have been thriving relationships that baffle the world with their initial attraction and long-term success: Helena Bonham-Carter and the darkly eccentric director Tim Burton, Woody Allen and Soon Yi, a banana and mayo sandwich...

As much as I winced typing the second couple, that third one is just nasty.

But none of the above shocked me as much as what I learned this past week: Teddy, our former predator drone donkey, and a goose.

If you remember, we had to make the sad decision to re-home our donk, a rescue himself, after he, bowing to his territorial instincts, went aggressively after not only coyotes, wild turkeys and stray dogs but also killed two of our cats and nearly trampled our beloved, elderly Jack Russell, Bonnie.

Teddy was taken to Big Oaks Rescue Farm, in Greenwood – a wonderful haven for terribly abused and neglected livestock, all taken in and paid for by the owner, Joe Mann, and donations from the community. Teddy didn’t have a large field to himself and one other horse, as he did at my place; he was thrown into the deep end of Big Oaks and turned out in a field with several other donkeys. I had worried what would happen if any of the farm’s other rescues wandered in: deer, emu, or goat, but from all reports and my own eyes, Teddy was settling quite well.

This past week, a Facebook friend, Penny, tagged me in a video she had shot at Big Oaks showing a scene that beggared belief: There was Teddy, wandering through the field with one of his donkey pals, Jack, and between them, a goose.

It is reported that while Jack grazes, the goose, a mallard, takes shade beneath his substantial belly. When Teddy and Jack share their dinner, the goose eats from the same feed pan. And when Teddy brays, the goose immediately replies with a series of honking blasts, not terribly unlike Fran Drescher’s laugh.

And they all sleep together.

Had that goose appeared in the field with Teddy when he lived with us, it would have been the target of instant destruction. But somehow, the magic of Big Oak weaves its platonic spell over its swarm of four-legged critters, replacing hostility with harmony, all animals wanting nothing more than to teach the world a song to sing, sans the Coca Cola.

If a former serial killer like Teddy can be completely rehabilitated, surely there’s hope for the whole world! The potential is perhaps before us to quell the hatred between Palestine and Israel, India and Pakistan, Auburn and Alabama...

You’re right – I shouldn’t get too carried away. But a girl can dream.

And at this point, it appears to me that, while diplomacy seems to have failed on all topical fronts lately, perhaps what is needed is an international Big Oaks: a big old field where dangerous world leaders can be thrown together and are assigned, by a goose, a whole, new pecking order.

Pun very much intended.

Reach PAM STONE at

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