Instead of Pet Tales this month, we are focussing on donkeys, an intrinsic part of the Christmas story.

Donkey Nannies

With thanks to Leslie who spotted this little gem (Photo: medeamoon):

Donkey nannies in Italy

Each year in Italy, grazing animals are moved from high pastures down to the plains. Newborn lambs are unable to make this journey on their own. Instead, they ride in the pouches of a specially made saddle on the back of a donkey or a mule nanny. They are taken down at rest stops and returned to their mothers for a bite to eat and a bit of nuzzling.

Tan y Bryn donkeys take part in the Holyhead Nativity Parade


For a few years in the mid 1990’s our donkeys were invited to take part in the Holyhead nativity parade and even the tableaux in St Cybi’s (not the best plan probably, as donkeys being donkeys do what they want to do, where and when they want to!). The year after that the tableau was held just outside the church’s gates and even Georgie the sheep was invited (see the side bar)

Little Donkey – Eric Boswell

Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load
Been a long time, little donkey, through the winters night
Don’t give up now, little donkey,
Bethlehem’s in sight

Ring out those bells tonight
Bethlehem, Bethlehem
Follow that star tonight
Bethlehem, Bethlehem

Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day
Little donkey, carry Mary safely on her way
Little donkey, little donkey, journey’s end is near
There are wisemen waiting for a sign to bring them here

Do not falter little donkey, there’s a star ahead
It will guide you, little donkey, to a cattle shed

Ring out those bells tonight  …..

Little donkey, little donkey, had a heavy day
Little donkey, carry Mary, safely on her way
Little donkey, carry Mary, safely on her way

Our silver “shonkey”

The shonkey is of course a cross between a donkey and a sheep – this was made by Lucy Casson using entirely old oil cans!  Round his neck is a chain of “gold (well brass but goldy colour) sheep bells given to me by my sister.