Rubí and the Golden Fleece

Rubí donkey writes her #RubíTuesbray blogue.

Yesterday was definitely Monbray. Although it was not a normal Monbray, as Monbrays go.  It was a quite confusing Monbray and I don’t want a Monbray like that again for a very long time.

Prolly not for at least fifteen years.

Anyway that means today must be Tuesbray and I’ll write my #RubíTuesbray blogue. There is a lot to write about the not-normal Monbray, but it’s not a Monbray blogue as such. I only write blogues on Tuesbrays because my blogue is called #RubíTuesbray.

“Why don’t you just get to the point?” says Morris donkey.

I tell him to go away and annoy Aitana instead of me: I’ll write my #RubíTuesbray blogue any way I like. At the moment I am building up suspense regarding the not-normal Monbray.

OK I will just get to the point.  The Peasant arrived in the stable when it was still dark, well before seven o’clock.  He put the stable lights on and said, “Today is a special brayday!”

We all gathered around, thinking a ‘special brayday’ meant extra carrots, like Christmas, or the Feast of the Ass last Saturbray.  But no.  It was the start of a very confusing ‘special brayday’. The Peasant announced that Cristina the vet was coming for my dental appointment.  Everyone froze at the sound of the word ‘vet’ and Morris ran away immediately to the farthest corner of the paddock.

Then the Peasant separated me from the others, behind the gate in the ‘norty’ corner of the stable where donks are put when we’ve been ‘rood’ to the Peasant, or where Aitana is put when she gets her extra food, in order that Morris can’t steal it from her.  So I thought: this could go one of two ways: I’m either in the norty corner or I’ve been mistaken for Aitana and I will accidentally get extra food.  But no, neither of these were the case.  Instead I had to starve.  How cruel the world can be on a not-normal Monbray!

“You have to fast until the vet arrives at ten o’clock,” said the Peasant.  “Sorry Roobs!”

And that was it.  I was left shut in the stable for three hours, while the others were fed under the pine trees with an early breakfast.  I kicked the walls a few times just to let everyone know what a horrible Monbray I was having, and then the Peasant came back after eating his porridge and spent an hour keeping me company. He cleaned out my hooves, groomed me and told me my coat was very dusty.  So that’s it?  I was in the norty corner for being dusty?  Come on!  We are desert animals, for heaven’s sake.

Morris came over to the stable to look over the gate at me.  I asked him to read to me as I was getting bored.  Over Christmas he read to me about Jason and the Argonoauts and the story of the Golden Fleece.  Then we had fun telling Aitana that her warm yellow stripey woollen blanket was the lost Golden Fleece of ancient times and she was very proud until she realised we were just having a laugh at her expense.

Now Aitana also came to the stable to gloat at me over the gate.  She was still wearing her yellow stripey night-blanket as the wind was blowing cold outside and the Peasant told her he would leave the blanket on until the vet arrived.

“My little donkette in a blankie!” he cooed at her.

God! I hate it when the Peasant fusses over Aitana donkey. Just because she got sick a year ago and recovered. That was her own fault for being anaemic in the first place. Silly horse!

“Hello,” said Aitana donkey.  “Lost your appetite today Rubí?”

“Piss off!” I replied. “And take your golden flea blanket with you! Silly horse!”

She turned around and did a jumping rear-leg side-kick in my direction, which is a very rood gesture in donkey language. She trotted away with her yellow stripey blanket billowing in the wind. 

At that point, the vet drove in through the gate of El Parral and the Peasant and the vet began their usual conspiracies while bringing equipment into the stable. 

Matilde started doing full-throated loud braying outside the stable, then tailed off into tragic mooing noises, followed by epic bouts of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Cristina the vet and the Peasant laughed at Matilde.

“That’s enough from you!” shouted the Peasant.  “We’re busy with Rubí in here: we don’t need your drama and cow noises! Go away and play!”

“I’ll give Rubí the sedative first,” said the vet, “and we can set up equipment while she goes to sleep.”

Go to sleep, I thought? Ha! No chance of that!  We need to keep wide awake when the vet is here, as you never know what tricks she will perform on us!  Very soon after I felt a dart in my neck – like a bite from a sparrow-sized horsefly – and soon I was indeed feeling drowsy.  Then very sleepy…  And as my eyelids drooped, I was suddenly surprised by a vision of Aitana throwing her yellow stripey blanket over me and standing there laughing.

“Look at you in your Golden Fleece you silly horse!” she brayed, as I tried to pull it off with my teeth, and the Golden Fleece became entangled in my teeth. Then I was in a quite different place. It was a dark cave on a Greek island – but I was not on holiday and I seemed to have been captured – and people were holding flaming torches. Suddenly they put a bronze helmet of some kind on me. Jason and the Argonauts were looking into my mouth and poking implements around my teeth while shouting to each other: “The donkey has eaten the Golden Fleece. It’s stuck in her mouth!”

Jason and the Argonauts wrestled to get the Golden Fleece out of my mouth, but it was firmly stuck there. Jason poked the whirring grinding sword in my mouth, like a magic weapon sent by Zeus from Mount Olympus. Then sometimes trying to flush it out with water. The Peasant had turned into some kind of Bacchus figure with grapes woven into his black woollen hat, and he changed the water into wine, bringing a fresh bowl from time to time.

I tried to say, “It’s all Aitana’s fault and she’s a silly horse!” But the words would not come out: I was a dumb ass.

The wrestling and grinding and flushing finally stopped. It all went quiet in the cave and Jason and the Argonauts crept silently away, back to the white sandy Aegean shoreline. I gradually began to wake up.  There was no sign of the Golden Fleece but the Peasant and the vet could be heard outside tending to the other three donkeys. They were talking about the annual injections and rotating the anti-parasitical products: the usual banter and jargon between Peasants and vets.  And now the blanket was off, the vet thought it was great to see that Aitana had regained all the weight she lost last year.

I had a funny taste in my mouth.  It was not a normal Monbray sort of taste.  I began to feel hungry. As if tuned into my thoughts, I heard the Peasant talking.

“When can I let Rubí out to eat?”

“Well, it’s getting towards midday now,” replied Cristina.  “So… let Rubí out after half-past one.”

I craned my head over the stable gate and looked at the vet. She reminded me oddly of someone I had once met in a cave in Greece. But then I remembered I have never been to Greece. I could see Aitana’s yellow stripey woollen blanket draped over the fence.  So they had found the Golden Fleece! Not all that glisters is gold. It was definitely a very not-normal Monbray.

A discarded Golden Fleece

2 thoughts on “Rubí and the Golden Fleece

  1. Excellent pioneering work on donkey ears semaphore, Jo! You need to seriously consider developing this into a Ph.D with a side-line in an introductory donkey ears semaphore phrase book. #earyore

    Liked by 1 person

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