Friday, June 10, 2011

The guardians

Well, contrary to the heading on today's post, these two aging but lovable donkeys don't appear to be guardians or defenders of anything much.

However I did want to talk a bit about donkeys as guardians today and as innovative solutions to problems. Driving around the countryside, I've come across some local organic farms. One raises sheep... and in the sheep pens are also a horse and a donkey. The donkey is the guardian against predators particularly coyotes.

Interestingly, I haven't heard our local coyotes crying to each other at dusk as I always have in past years. I'm very afraid that a bounty was placed on these important keepers of  ecosystem balance or some old-tyme farmers have gotten together and decided to wipe them out.

Perhaps they are denning. I certainly hope that's the case.

Donkeys hate coyotes and are wonderful protectors against them. They are all that a farmer usually needs. Being herd animals, donkeys stay with the other animals. Their sharp hooves are deadly protection and they will attack coyotes. That sheep farm has huge pastures, far from the house... the donkey is always in the field with the sheep...

Without coyotes, we will have an excess of moles and other tiny rodents, rabbits, groundhogs and similar vegetation eating critters. Coyotes themselves are part of the ecosystem that we humans need to think about protecting not changing. The moles, voles and other small rodents did a lot of damage to trees, lawns, and gardens this past snow season. And it was in deep winter that I stopped hearing coyotes.

It makes me very sad that humans feel the need to take a gun to solve problems...not only in the country against animals, but around the world against each other.

Donkeys are an example of a peaceful solution that can be found for most problems with a bit of ingenuity, creative and out-of-the-box thinking.

My you find a creative solution to any problem you face today.

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