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  • Writer's pictureRogene "Jeannie" McPherson, Country Notebook

Meet Estabon

Updated: 4 days ago

Country Notebook

By Rogene "Jeannie" McPherson

What a difference a month can make. Approximately four weeks ago, I wrote a story called “Invisible Tears.” Of all the stories I’ve written, I received more feedback than any other I’ve composed. Most said it was a tear-jerker and no argument there, but it was also a reminder that a day, even a moment can make a difference.

Roger Sims, publisher of the Journal, suggested the next one not cause so many tears, so I wrote, “What Is Real.” It wasn’t as funny as I wanted, but likely gave us all something to take to heart. The third story in a few weeks, “Meet Estabon,” should not cause tears. 

When Charlie-Horse died, I wrote the story about how fast time passes and our feelings of love. Most would agree some of our animals are like family.  Midnight, the companion horse, seemed to know we were both grieving. Never before would he let me wrap my arms around his neck. Now, I could tell he needed the touch of humanity and he graciously let me hug him.  Midnight needed a friend who wants to run and jump and share hay around the big bale. 

Hoping for a good response, I texted a friend with one donkey in a pasture.  Enter “Estabon” also known as Esty. It’s easier when I have to yell for him and easier for the grandchildren to pronounce.

Esty is only about three feet tall with a shaggy coat, normal for this time of year.  When I have to pull on his disproportionate-in-size ears to get his attention, his small size is convenient. Not always steady on my feet, in his zealous behavior with his new friend, I fear he may unintentionally push me over. In comparison to being stepped upon by an 1,800-pound horse, this will be an easy behavior to correct.  

It’s going to be not-so-easy to fix the problem with one of my dogs who finds much joy in pulling tails, Etsy’s. The good news is that Etsy is pretty adept with kicking.  Etsy then runs around hee-hawing with a suggestive tone that says he is not happy. I don’t like Digger’s naughty behavior, but I have to admit I love Esty’s means of communicating his frustration.

Like the season we have now entered, we have among and around us new beginnings. Esty, about four years old, is a new beginning. Though I’ll always relish my time with Charlie-Horse, I am encouraged by the new journey we have taken. 

Another journey is celebrated in the next days, that in which Christ rode into Jerusalem on a never-ridden before colt. We know this as Palm Sunday, and it signifies the beginning of Christ’s last week to walk the streets of the city before His death. Though the animal is referred to as a colt, the most likely means of transportation was a small donkey.

From my son’s NIV student Bible, we are told that even when a king rode a donkey into a city or nation, it meant he was coming in peace. A king going into war rode a horse.  Christ’s ride on a donkey symbolized that, though He was to be put to death, it was the beginning of real peace and everlasting salvation.

As in most holidays, there are legends surrounding the first event, including Easter. Though not biblical, at least to my knowledge, the legend is that from then on, the donkey carried the symbol of the cross on his back. I can’t speak for every donkey, big or small, but I can assuredly write that Etsy has a black cross formed by his hair.  The horizontal bar runs across what I’ll call his shoulder and the vertical down his spine. 

Whew, deep thoughts, but our love for humanity, and for Christian believers, our love for Christ, enforces a pattern of acceptance that events work together for good. Not always easy to understand, but often easy to observe in the days and years that follow. 


“In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” –  Job 12:10 NIV (New International Version)

Rogene “Jeannie” McPherson, from the Centerville area, is a regular contributor to the Linn County Journal. Her latest book Posts from the Country, Adventures in Rural Living is available online in both virtual and printed editions. Copies are on the shelves at all Linn County libraries.

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