FEBRUARY TEETER TOTTER
Come mid-February, mild sensations of seasonal restlessness begin to make themselves felt around the Sanctuary Farm. Although the pleasures of winter can still be enjoyed, at this time of year the seemingly, never-ending teeter totter of weather conditions – snow – melt – freeze – ice – melt – snow – shapes every activity.
For their part, the donkeys experience frustrations with these conditions, too. Their thick winter coats serve them well when the weather is frigid, but temperatures above freezing are, literally, irritating. At those times, the donkeys will rub against anything that is at hand. Their body language seems to scream out, “I am itchy!!” and whenever a person is available to give a good, long scratch, the grunts of satisfaction are as expressive as any words.
In contrast, on the up side of this teeter totter there are the sunny, cold, windless days when groups of donkeys will pick their way through the snow to the lee of the buildings in order to bask in the winter sunshine, with coats fluffed, soaking in the warmth. They will stand for hours like this until the clouds return or the wind picks up. Then, at an unspoken signal, all will begin to move carefully along the trodden path, back to shelter.
At the Sanctuary each day is different and yet the same, with essential chores that never vary. Come February, though, the weather-complicated routines begin to weigh heavily. When this happens, we know that the time has arrived to turn our musings to the warmer months and, with them, the resumption of Open Days. Thoughts of the infectious enthusiasm of our visitors will help enormously during the next few weeks to keep our end of the teeter totter in the air………..and whenever it starts to drop, we will know it’s time to scratch a donkey and give/receive a little joy.
Sandra Pady, Founder