The Donkey Who Wore Boots

The Donkey Who Wore Boots.

When I was a little girl, my Nana and Grandad had a farm at Detling in Kent. My brothers and I used to stay there for holidays, and we had a lovely time. We had to do some work, like helping to feed the pigs, but there was a lot of fun, too.

Sometimes we stayed up late, and then walked very quietly down to the edge of the wood with Uncle Will. If we sat and waited quietly, sometimes we saw the badgers come out to feed. They dug up worms, looked for beetles and slugs, and picked berries out of the hedges. Sometimes they rolled in the corn and squashed it, which made Grandad a bit cross, but he said it was worth it just to see them there.

There was a donkey at the farm, whose name was Boots. When I asked Nana why he was called that she explained. He used to pull the lawnmower at a big house with a very big garden. The gardener was very fussy about the lawn. He didn’t want donkey hoofmarks all over it, so Boots had to wear big leather boots over his sharp little hooves so that he wouldn’t sink into the lawn.

When the people at the big house got a motor mower, they sent Boots to be sold at the market, and Grandad bought him. His boots came with him, and one day when Boots had a bad foot, Grandad put one of the boots on it to keep the bandage clean. Boots walked lopsided with one big foot and three little ones, so Grandad put the other three boots on him as well. The postman saw him when he came with the letters, and he called him Boots and the name stuck ever after.

Boots had a little cart to pull, and sometimes we had rides in it, but mostly it was used to bring Nana’s shopping home from the village. We were very pleased when the schoolteacher wanted Boots to be in the Nativity play, but the teacher wasn’t so pleased when Boots ate all the hay out of the manger. The children thought it was very funny, and they gave Boots sugar lumps and peppermint sweets. Boots liked the peppermints so much that after that he wouldn’t go anywhere unless he was given a peppermint first!

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