This story is dedicated to my young friends Brandon, Mikey, and Emma & Kai, Kenya, and Leaf. Both of their families are in new homes.
Burrita, the little brown burro, came to us from the wild. She was comfortable wandering in the wilderness across the rocks, through the woods and canyons. She was used to finding her own food and a safe place to rest. She accepted the responsibility of protecting herself from coyotes and mountain lions.
But the wild places were getting smaller and smaller and her meals and safe places to rest were getting harder for Burrita to find. Sometimes, she was hungry and sometimes she was cold. And sometimes she needed to use her sharp hooves and teeth to protect herself from wild animals who wanted to hurt her. She needed a new home and so she came to us.
Burrita, the little brown burro, was not a tame donkey. She was suspicious of houses, cars, bikes, people, dogs and fences. They scared her. We scared her. She was not a happy donkey. She shook with fear at the shadows in our barn. The sound of our barking dog had her peeking out from behind a tree. And the touch of our hand caused her to run away to the far corner of her pen.
Poor Burrita, she did not like her strange, new home. She did not like it one bit.
Many times during each day after Burrita came to our house, I would go down and sit very quietly inside her pen. Sometimes, she was brave enough to turn her head and gaze at me with her big,brown burro eyes. She was not sure what I was, or if I would hurt her.
Later, I began to sing her songs as I sat very still inside her pen. Soft, soothing songs of love and care. She began to turn her big, beautiful burro ears towards me to listen. Perhaps the songs reminded her of the wind blowing over the rocks and through the woods and canyons of her old home in the wild.
One day something wonderful happened. She walked right over to me. "Hello Burrita," I said, while I gazed lovingly into her big, brown burro eyes. Her beautiful, brown, burro ears tilted towards me and then she lowered her head slightly. I raised my hand slowly and I felt her warm breath upon my fingers. Carefully, slowly, I touched her on the nose. And she did not run away.
Soon, I no longer had to sit on the ground inside her pen. Her big, brown burro eyes would light up with delight when I came to visit. And her big, beautiful, brown, brown, burro ears tilted back in forth to the melody of my songs and sometimes she would join in with a loud and hearty "Heehaw, Heehaw"! She also came and stood right next to me so I could brush her shiny hair and scratch her in all the right places.
Burrita liked her new home now. The houses, cars, bikes, people, dogs and fences were no longer strange and scary to her. She liked to be touched and she liked to play with the barking dog and she happily entered into the shadowy barn to have a safe place to rest and a meal to eat. She felt at home.
Her new home was where she wanted to be!