OT-ish: Good Article on Donkeys and Why so Historically Important

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Denise | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 1 2016 7:19 AM

You probably aren't an NYT reader these days. But this article is worth your while:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/science/donkeys.html?hpw&rref=science&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0 

- Why donkeys were associated with kings, and a reference to Jesus' Jerusalem entry

- Clears up a bit of the Balaam account. 

- Speaks to the early success of the desert empires

- It's amusing ... especially the speed of donkeys (slow, and slower) and odd shadows on the ground

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 7:27 AM

Sadly it's behind a login/pay wall.  

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 7:47 AM

I've heard in Africa that after a donkey learns route, it won't change the route ever, even if a motorway is built there. I am not sure whether this is exactly true, but after reading that article, it may be due  its ancient territoriality?

And that leads to some exegetical speculation: was it culturally normal to take a young donkey to go a new route??

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 7:56 AM

Sorry, TC ... not sure the reason. They usually give you 10 articles per month.

I cut out the Balaam part:

So if you try to lead a donkey over a shadow on the ground that looks a bit like the edge of a cliff, the donkey may balk.

That’s what Balaam’s donkey did in the Bible. It refused three times to go forward even though its master had insisted. He beat it for its apparent balkiness, and the donkey, the only animal in the Bible other than the serpent to speak, said, “What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?”

The donkey was quite sensibly avoiding a very threatening angel with a sword, who explained to Balaam after the fact that if it had not been for the animal’s sagacity, Balaam himself would have died by the angel’s sword.

Although donkeys may avoid armed angels and can run when threatened, that isn’t their usual reaction to predators. That’s when they become fierce. “A donkey will stand and fight,” said Mark Meyers, who runs Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue in Miles, Tex., and had brought donkeys to the symposium for adoption. He and others at the meeting said donkeys would attack dogs, coyotes or foxes. There has been at least one report of a donkey attacking a mountain lion.

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I didn't know donkeys could also guard sheep, etc. 'Guard donkeys'.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 8:03 AM

TCBlack:

Sadly it's behind a login/pay wall.  

Yes and no.  Try an incognito window (cookie free) or use a mobile device or clip to Evernote immediately upon load.  One of the above usually works. Else, subscribe. 

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I am sort of a donkey-person (keep your smart comments to yourself, please).  I grew up with them.  My dad always had a few around and raised them. Nothing is so cute as a baby donkey.  He had a lovely prize-winning show donkey "Daisy." He sometimes used them for annual 2-3 week trips packing into the wilderness.  Whenever the troubles of life grew to great, I could always go talk into the huge ears of my favorite donkey, Pedro, who would listen patiently.  Warm, sweet breath, ticklish whiskers, and ever faithful sun or rain, wind, heat of cold.  My mother's name was Mary and she would sometimes ride one of the donkeys (though she preferred horses).  I miss those donkeys. 

I now live in Asia where donkeys are a common part of every day life.  They pull carts on roads alongside sports cars, they feed in the grasslands among the camels and sometimes people eat them.  Yes I have too.  Because I had to.  So donkeys were historically important, and still are important.   

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 10:34 AM

Gao Lu:

TCBlack:

Sadly it's behind a login/pay wall.  

Yes and no.  Try an incognito window (cookie free)

Ah, thank you.

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 10:52 AM

Denise:
They usually give you 10 articles per month.

I was able to access it so that makes sense. Interesting article.

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John Brumett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 1 2016 11:06 AM

I personally like Elephants. 

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