When I got up at 5.30 this morning to feed my dogs, I glanced over into Dursune's garden and saw a mule. Quite a lovely looking animal. He must have arrived sometime last night.
Dursune's donkey is quite old. She is also very ill. According to Dursune, the donkey has cancer and won't live much longer. There is apparently nothing more that can be done for her.
I have known this for a few months and have watched the rapid deterioration of this once sturdy and healthy animal with great sadness. Both for the donkey and Dursune. She has always taken great care of her animals and it was awful for her that she had to give up her cows last year because she is also becoming frail, and she just couldn't manage them anymore.
She's a stubborn woman, and very independent. I know there are neighbours who would have helped with milking the cows, but with Dursune it's her way or not at all.
The donkey is no longer used for carrying things for her mistress. This is quite unusual here. There is no sentimentality for these animals who are invariably worked to the limit until they drop dead.
Dursune's donkey now spends her days in a garden just below Dursune's house which has lots of trees for shelter. She is fed, loved and cared for. She doesn't appear to be suffering, and I hope that she doesn't reach a point where she is, because Dursune's religion would not allow her to have her euthanized. I sincerely hope that she dies peacefully in her sleep.
When Dursune got up this morning I admired her mule. She had to have him to work for her, she says, as the donkey is on her way out....she says this as she gently pats the donkey on the head.
The mule is lucky to have Dursune as his mistress. He'll have a much better life than so many others.