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Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Jack is a donkey with many duties

  • Yvonne and Denny Kay, rural Girard, just wanted to get a farm animal for their granddaughter to play with. They ended up with a Bible donkey.

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  • Yvonne and Denny Kay, rural Girard, just wanted to get a farm animal for their granddaughter to play with. They ended up with a Bible donkey.
    Yvonne Kay said her donkey, Jack, is called a Bible donkey because he has a thin stripe of dark fur in the shape of a cross on the lighter fur of his back.
    “I had no desire to have a donkey,” she said. “I thought I might borrow a goat from a neighbor.”
    Then somebody called her and said they knew of a donkey being given away. Kay and her husband went to see it, and it was love at first side.
    “I looked over at my husband and he nodded,” Kay said. “But we had a hard time getting him into the pasture. Just getting him to walk to lead was a challenge. You have to walk them in a circle for weeks until you get dizzy, and keep making the circles a little bigger.”
    She gradually discovered that Jack was capable of learning other tricks.
    “I nodded my head and asked him if he could bow, and just kept nodding my head,” Kay said. “Anybody driving by would have thought I was crazy, but he picked it up. He also plays piano and sits on command on a bean bag chair.”
    Now Jack is a regular at Girard Homecoming parades and frequently visits nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He’s broken to saddle and has given donkey rides to children, but Kay said that basically she and her husband take him to visit the elderly.
    “I feel they need the entertainment,” she said. “We have Jack do his tricks, then tell a short story, and mainly tell them how Jesus loves them.”
    Jack may fit especially well into this because he’s a Sicilian donkey. There is an old legend that Jesus rode a Sicilian donkey into Jerusalem shortly before the crucifixion.
    Jack also visits senior citizens for “significant” birthdays and is extremely friendly and loving to all.
    “He gives kisses,” Kay said. “He doesn’t know he’s not human.”
    The Kays consider this to be a ministry, and it is completely free.
    This holiday season Jack did something new. Kay called the Pittsburg Salvation Army and offered the donkey’s services to ring the bells and help raise money for the needy. After a brief stop at the Walmart parking lot, he performed and rang out at the south Dollar General store.
    “We attached the bell to his ankle,” Kay said. “Next year he’ll be ready to ring it with his mouth.”
    She’s also working on a diaper for Jack to wear in case he’s asked to perform indoors. Since he lives in a pasture, he’s not housebroken.
    Page 2 of 2 - “My husband just won’t let him live in the house,” Kay said. “We have two mules, the donkey and a horse in the pasture, and they all do the Lord’s work.”
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