Monday 9 January 2012: There is a light somewhere
Two donkeys advanced towards me in lock step across the field. I hadn't seen them there before and I stopped to pass the time of day.
I have been tempted by donkeys many times. You can foster them, in pairs, from The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon, if you have the correct conditions to offer, but friends who have done this tell me the selection process is extremely stringent. You have to undergo a number of interviews and home visits before you are approved and, in addition, you are required to pass a written examination on the health and welfare of donkeys.
Of the two today, one concentrated on munching the tuft of grass I proffered. This one just stared at me, owl-like and unblinking, from fathomless, peat-pool eyes under craggy brows. Whether it was very old or very care-worn I do not know but it seemed to be silently conveying some profound wisdom. Donkeys have this mesmerising poignancy about them.
Here, , the Croatian actor Rade Serbedzija, followed by the singer Tom Waits, recite Charles Bukowski's poem The Laughing Heart, accompanied (not literally!) by a donkey. Do listen to both - there is an important message there.