Monday, August 8, 2011

The best thing I ever ate, according to George, Alan and Lucy

It was raining Friday night when I headed out to find the herd and remove fly masks, so I cheated and took the Ranger. Could someone please explain why it's taken me six years to figure out that this makes more sense than wandering around 80 acres on foot when it's getting too dark to see? Aye yai yai yai yai. Sometimes I need supervision.

Anyway, it's a good thing I drove because when I did find them, I needed tools.

Yet again, George was wearing cactus on his nose...

and Alan was sporting a few pieces on his chin.

Me: What would you have done if I hadn't shown up?

Alan: Suffered.

So I remove the cactus and start to head back to the house, when what do I see?

A veritable feast in progress! Lucy, Alan and George had made a beeline to the nearest cholla 
and were chomping it down with gastronomic gusto as if it were chips...

...rain-marinated cholla chips.

If y'all knew how painful this stuff is when it gets stuck to your skin, you would be aghast and appalled.
There's a barb at the end of every needle, and I draw blood each time I pull a piece out.
What in heaven's name was the cholla doing to the insides of their mouths? And intestines? And parts beyond?

Lucy: Nomnomnomnomnom. Oh so good. Best thing I ever ate.
The rain makes it extra juicy...adds a layer of flavor that can barely be described.
Sweet, with just a hint of savory goodness. Ambrosia, I tell ya.

Me: I thought you knew better than to eat something so evil.

Lucy: I know better than to let you see me with it stuck all over my face. What you don't know won't hurt you.

George: Show me your technique. She's always getting mad at me when she has to yank it out of my nose.

George: I think I've got it! I need to bend my head at a 45-degree angle and go in from below.

Alan: Technique be damned. This stuff is too good to worry about etiquette.

Lucy: It pays to be tall.

For the record, Hank ordered the grass, medium rare.


  1. It does seem odd that, one, they even want that prickly stuff touching sensitive lips and tongue, but that they actually swallow it down. Do they grind it up first? I guess it is kind of like feeding a dog the raw diet with bones. Their stomachs just know how to deal with it.

  2. Errm, looks mighty darn painful to me. And if you are what you eat, then they'd all have pretty prickly personalities. Ya think?

  3. I only have 24 acres, but after my first vet bill for my Rottweiler, I had a man take a machete to the FOREST of cholla and stack it up. Then we let it dry and burned it all. Cost less than the vet bill, let alone the pain.

  4. Estella from Co.8/8/11, 6:23 AM

    Must be a donkey thing....Hank seems to know better

  5. I too wonder what it does to the insides of their mouths.

  6. Oh, my goodness! They EAT it? I, too, can't imagine what it does to their insides! One time, I saw Cali eat a whole tumbleweed...yum, yum, yum!

  7. I have the same issue here. Russell will eat it-the horses avoid it like the plague. I suppose these little desert burros know what they can survive on. I just know it hurts like crazy when it sticks on ya!

  8. I wonder why they like it so much - ouch - it seems like it would be very painful to eat.

  9. Oh my!! That looks like it would be very painful to digest. Have you nibbled on a little to see what it taste like? Wonder what the attraction is? Those farm buggies, as I call them, are wonderful! I probably would be 30 pounds thinner if I did walk everywhere, but the buggy is so convenient! Especially on rocky, hilly, uneven terrain. I wouldn't have any amount of acreage without one. You are so lucky to receive rain. We are still waiting in NE Oklahoma. I hope it arrives soon....

  10. Good God! It must feel like passing a pinecone on the exit route!

  11. I guess you're glad you don't have to bale that and stack it in the barn!

  12. Yowch. I've known for a while that donkeys have a high tolerance for pain (or at least are very talented at masking it), but that's just nuts. Wicked cholla - I remember barely looking down at one and it jumped up and bit me. :-)
    It looked at first like Alan and George were all sweaty from the pain, but then I realized they had merely experienced a refreshing summer shower while devouring their delectable treat! What a great day. :-)

  13. The photos are great but the captions really make your blog special. I sit here and giggle my way thru each post.
    Husband in other room: "Reading that donkey blog again?"
    Me: "Hehehe, yup."

  14. I don't know how they do that. Honestly. But I did see the cows barking a saguaro the other day, which I've never ever seen before. I thought they were just starving, but maybe it does taste good. Very interesting!

  15. What makes them eat it if they get all stuck up???? It's painful just to look at them!!