KBR Horse Humor:
Maynard's Bird-Day
By Willis Lamm

Hey, Maynard! Are you a burro or are you a bird?

Maynard is a BLM Jack burro who was born in 1992 and who we have had since he was a weanling. He's been more or less a pasture ornament for most of these years, tormenting the horses in his pasture and generally having a good time. His two favorite pasttimes include running around with a stall ball and slapping the other horses in the head with it, especially his best bud George, a Shetland Pony. Whenver we would go to the pasture to pull out Dan, a pretty good sized Belgian Draft Horse, Maynard would try to grab the leadrope and take off in his donkey trot with Dan thumping along behind.

This winter we decided we ought to try to train Maynard. He would halter and lead and we actually sat on him a couple of times, but basically he's done whatever he's wanted to do. He got some pack saddle exposure at Wild Horse Workshop '98 (yawn, no big deal) and we decided to try him out in our horse obstacle course.

Maynard has never seen a hill, at least up close. One of our obstacles is a footing mound which is about 4 feet high with various slopes of different angles and some railroad tie steps on one side. We decided to work Maynard on the mound. While we were working in the horse course, Dan the Belgian and CJ, a BLM mustang were near by munching on some new winter grass which was sprouting up in the horse course.

Maynard actually did pretty well until we asked him to walk down the steps. He spread his front legs and looked down at the railroad tie steps. We encouraged him forward a few times. Then, all of a sudden he bunched up and literally leaped higher than our heads, handily clearing the steps with such velocity that Dan the Belgian took off at a thunderous dead run across the ranch and didn't stop until he arrived at his pasture gate.

Sharon was joking about this to Patty Thmas, CJ's owner, when she remarked about Maynard's exploits earlier. She was riding the perimeter of Maynard's pasture when she noticed a big white feather on the end of Maynard's nose. He let out a big breath and the feather wafted up into the air. Maynard then followed it until it finally fluttered to the ground.

For the next several minutes Maynard attempted to smell the feather, however each time he exhaled, it would take off again and drift a short distance away in the wind, with Maynard in hot donkey pursuit. Nobody is sure if Maynard ever figured out what the feather was, but he certainly provided entertainment to the nearby horses and Patty.

Perhaps with his interest in feathers and flying, we have a burro who would rather be a bird!

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