Donkey Hokey

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”


No, I’m not tilting at windmills, not just yet anyhow. And despite the play on words in the title, nor am I referring to Cervantes character Don Quixote. This post actually does concern a donkey, though. In fact animals in general.

It is a little known fact that donkeys kill more people than plane crashes. And at the end of August I read about a small town Texas mayor who was killed in an attack by his own donkey. He was Bill Bohlke and he was Mayor of Hollywood Park in Atascosa County, Texas.

That unfortunate event set me thinking of a number of things.

First I asked myself how the heck you pronounced his surname.

Then I wondered if Mayor Bohlke was a Republican or Democrat and how macabre it would have been if the donkey had done away with his elephant man rival.

And then I thought about the amazing and different ways people find to leave the mortal coil. I bet, like most of us, the last thing Mayor Bohlke thought was that some day he would meet his end from an attack from a randy donkey!

And then I marveled at how so many people, for no logical reason, have a romantic fantasy notion that animals are not inherently dangerous. They are.

And this is true for people who work with them every day and should know better.

For example, when I was growing up I would spend time at my uncle’s farm. He had a herd of one hundred or more dairy cows and every evening when I was there my cousin and myself would be sent out to the fields to bring the cows in for milking.

We had a couple of great little collie dogs to help us, not that much help was needed because the cows had a routine and once they heard us calling for them they made their way to the field gate and up the lane to the milking parlor, glad no doubt that they were about to be relieved of their burden once more.

With them came the bull. A huge brute of an animal and unbelievably strong. But he was docile enough, walked up with his herd of ‘wives’ and while they made their way into the queue for the milking machines he would usually lie down in the hayshed and munch on some of the hay.

As innocent (dumb) kids we would sometimes sit down beside him, even using him as a prop to lean against. He didn’t seem to mind a bit, we thought he was glad of the company perhaps.

Then one day as the herd was being ushered back out to the fields Mr Bull totally out of the blue decided he would like to kill my uncle.

Luckily us kids had our chore done in bringing the herd in to get milked. When the time came to take them back out again we were engaged on other vital business, I can’t remember exactly what but I’m sure it involved football, playing cowboys and Indians, fending off some galactic foe who was attacking earth that day, or some such vital stuff. But we could hear the commotion in the distance.

Furious about something, only he knew what, the bull roared angrily and ran towards my uncle who had been leading the way. With his head lowered he hit my uncle between his lower back and his knees and threw him up into the air like a rag doll – and my uncle was a BIG man. Very fortunately the bull tossed him into the air with such force that he went clean over the raised fence and hedge on the right hand side of the lane and ended up in one of the fields. 

The crazy bull then tried to go after him but couldn’t get up the steep embankment on which the fence had been constructed. Another cousin, quite a bit older than us, saw the attack. He was in a tractor and he immediately had the presence of mind to use that to take the bull’s attention away from my uncle. The distraction seemed to work, because as suddenly as it had started it was over and things were back to normal.

But my uncle had learned a valuable lesson. Animals can be dangerous.

So had I, even though I wasn’t there at the time, but from then on I haven’t been a fan of bulls – not in Chicago or Wall Street either come to think of it.

Unfortunately Mayor Bohlke wasn’t so lucky with his donkey.

I wonder if it happened something like this???