July 17, 2018

‘Miss Charlie’ gives me bragging rights, too

      Hello, my name is Otis.
     If you think that’s a strange name for a miniature donkey, you need to know this about our farmer. A lot of times when he comes to check on us, music is playing from the back pocket of his blue jeans. I’ve heard it’s a thing called Pandora radio on his smart phone.
     Ain’t that smart?
     Well, anyway, those of us down in the barnyard know that he’s a big fan of Otis Redding. That’s how I got my name. I can’t sing “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” but my braying can be heard a mile away. And these days, I’ve got plenty to hee-haw about.
     A while back, Baby Llama Bean tried to gig me when he got ahold of the boss’s laptop and wrote about his and Georgette’s new baby. I’ll have to agree that Bean did get the jump on me and that little Dolly Llama is a cutie pie. You ought to see her prance and kick around the pasture. That girl has all the moves. She’s going to break some hearts, just you wait.
     But today is my day. I could be the poster child for “Grinning like a jackass eating briars.”
     Donkeys aren’t as dumb as you think. Bean isn’t the only one who knows how to click the keys on that tote-around computer. I’m pretty savvy with my front legs. But the farmer is finicky about some things. Before I start typing, I have to clean stuff off my hooves.
     After months of boy-or-girl guessing, Jenny delivered the answer. It must be girl time at the NeSmith farm. Adorable Dolly came first, and now we are kicking up our heels over our pasture princess, Charlotte. We’ve already nicknamed her Miss Charlie.
     On July 2, Miss Charlie greeted us at sunrise. I have to say, “She’s a looker.” Her slender legs go almost up to her ears. And with her mostly white coat, with a few splashes of milk-chocolate brown, there’s no doubt about who’s her papa. Six years ago, when I was just a dashing colt, I looked a lot like her.
     But, oh, my. I hope Miss Charlie watches her waistline better than I have. I am sad to say that my appetite gets carried away. There are acres of lush fescue, and I just can’t get enough of it. With my sagging belly, you won’t see me parading to the pond wearing no skimpy Speedo.
      No, sir, not old Otis. Back when smoking was cool, there was a commercial about “I’d walk a mile for a Camel.” I am not a smoker, but the farmer knows that I have a sweet tooth. I’d walk two miles to nibble sweet feed out of his hand.
     That’s how he got Jenny, Miss Charlie and me into the barn. While I was busy eating from his right hand, he scooped up our baby with his left hand. Jenny has seen this trick before, but she doesn’t mind. She knows the farmer is just as proud and protective as Miss Charlie’s parents are.
     We are a happy bunch, and I have to tell you a secret before Bean hears it elsewhere.
     My other wives are starting to show. It won’t be long before everyone will know: Tina and Aretha are going to have babies, too!
     How’s that, Mister Braggadocio Bean?
(Down at the barn, WiFi ain’t too good. If you want to reach me, please email the farmer: dnesmith@cninewspapers.com.)