5 July

Lulu’s Eyes In Summer

by Jon Katz
Lulu’s Eyes

Lulu has the most beautiful eyes, in the summer, she is often grazing in a cloud of flies, they are drawn to her in a particular way.

We have had donkeys for more than 15 years,  we know every mask, net, mesh, potion, spray and oil in the universe, please don’t advise us of any more. I imagine we have tried them all. I asked a  well known donkey trainer once if there was anything we could really do about the eyes, and he shook his head and said no, flies are an ancient and integral part of a donkeys’s life and some donkeys generate fluid and smells that attract flies, and some really don’t. (Fanny doesn’t)

The best thing you can do for a donkey, he advised, is often nothing. Rather than torment them with masks and lotions they hate and will invariably tear off of one another, let them be donkeys as they have been for thousands of years.

In the summer, they draw flies and their eyes run. They can handle it, it’s usually the people who can’t,  he said. Horses are different, he said. You can put masks on horses, it makes them less skittish.

In the age of the Internet, where free advice and amateur diagnosing  and prescribing, is epidemic, this is good advice. The trainer recommended some lotion we apply once in awhile, when we can get Lulu to stand still. It works for a few hours.

We accept Lulu and her eyes. We mostly giving up fighting nature. Lulu’s eyes and accepting the conceit that we can alter the world. Lulu’s eyes are beautiful in all seasons. And we let her be a donkey. And we let life be life whenever we can.


  1. It’s also interesting when they occasionally stand head to tail and their tails swat the flies from the head of the other one. They have it all figured out with an inexpensive and natural solution.

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