Andy Merrifield’s The Wisdom of Donkeys: Finding Tranquility in a Chaotic Worldis one of those books I cannot stop talking about. I’ve recommended it to several people, and even posted on, which is a fab site for freelance writers, about how much I loved loved loved this book.

Sharon Anne Waldrop, a freelance writer who hails from Crawford, Georgia (population 850), replied that she has a donkey named Donkey Kong. So I asked her to write a little bit about him:

‘I’m usually the one in the family who comes home with a new pet or animal, but this time it was my husband! He took the kids to visit a neighbor with a two month old miniature donkey. The neighbor owned the parents and the baby was not yet weaned. My husband gave a deposit to reserve the baby donkey until he was weaned from him mother. He told me that he was too cute and he couldn’t resist! The owner said that it’s best to keep the baby with his mother for three to four months. Although we couldn’t wait to get our hands on him, we decided to let him stay with his mother for 4 months for his benefit.

The donkey came home with us on Christmas Eve, 2006. His mother is very friendly, and he is too. He comes up to say “hi” to everyone. He loves to be scratched and will follow you around until you do it. We named him Donkey Kong, after the Nintendo character. He is playful and always getting into mischief. Whenever something is missing, we know that he did something with it! Now that he is full-grown, we let him in the pasture with our horses. He is not as big as a horse, but big enough to hang out with them. When the horses run around, he can’t quite keep up with them, but he sure does try. He looks soooooo cute when he is galloping. He takes short cuts when he can’t keep up with the horses which shows that his brain is thinking. But he can get feisty at times.

One day my two pot-bellied pigs came running to me as though they were tattling on something. I knew that it had to be Kong. Sure enough, Kong was eating the pigs’ food even though he had his own. He figured that he’d eat theirs first, then eat his own. And the feistyness didn’t end there. When he matured, we had to get him gelded (neutered) because he wouldn’t leave our mares alone! They are three times his size, but that sure didn’t stop him!’

That’s a picture of Donkey Kong at two months old. And if that’s not a Cute Overload, I don’t know what is.

On another note, my dad just called me to ask what a Mack is. He’s referring to my article about dating books, in which I refer to Tariq Nasheed’s The Mack Within. The essay appears in the Image section of tomorrow’s Philadelphia Inquirer. If you subscribe, you got that section of the paper today. The link’s not live yet — I’ll post that tomorrow.

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Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.

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