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Sunday 2 March 2014

Jacquot & Other Interesting Donkeys & Friends

A couple of weeks ago The Guardian  reviewed a new book, which looks very interesting, about Queen Victoria's life in Aix-Le-Bains, speaks of the donkey, Jacquot, which the Queen adopted:

Guardian Article

Jacquot was only one of several donkeys who became members of the extended family of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, as a very interesting article from 'The Idler' shows.

It is quite strange that people even now speak of the humble donkey as though this beautiful creature is somehow a sort of second-rate horse or something, when you consider the strength and serenity as well as the nobility of donkeys. It is virtually impossible to look at a donkey or spend any time with one without feeling instantly calmed and receiving an awareness that there is something far more supernaturally powerful here than mere flesh and bone. I cannot for the life of me think why G.K. Chesterton should describe the donkey as 'the devil's walking parody' or speak of the 'monstrous head or sickening cry' of these incredibly beautiful animals:

and I would like to draw more attention to the late Elizabeth Svendsen, whose wonderful work continues in The Donkey Sanctuary  wherein rescued donkeys work with children with disabilities or difficulties and produce amazing results.

"The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. It is only through her amazing devotion to donkeys and hard work that the Sanctuary grew to the international charity it is today. Over 50 million donkeys and mules exist in the world. Many need care and protection from a life of suffering and neglect, whilst others have a vital role to play in human survival and happiness; they are at the heart of everything we do here at The Donkey Sanctuary."

I am sure that, had Queen Victoria been alive to see the Donkey Sanctuary's foundation, she would have been eager to have given it Royal Patronage! 

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