I haven't done this yet, but it's a venerable tradition in blogging (can an activity less than five years old really have a "tradition", much less a "venerable" one?) to post links to other things you and your readers might find interesting. So in that spirit, here's a post on Slate that I think captures a lot of the reason why we have donkeys on our farm. Money quote:
"That's a lot of hay," one of my incredulous farmer neighbors observed. "Especially for animals that don't do anything."
But he's wrong. They do a lot for me. They connect me to nature and to history. They're dutiful watchdonkeys and affectionate companions. They exude patience and calm. In many ways, they're the heart and soul of my farm.
The link is http://www.slate.com/id/2137259/?nav=tap3.