A mother’s love knows no bounds as two donkeys adopt baby goats

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Truth is often stranger than fiction. And, when it is, doubts usually arise.

But Helen Johnston was too excited to keep the truth to herself, so she took a chance and told the world.

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“This is just about the strangest thing that I’ve ever seen,” Johnston said as she bounced along in her farm cart on the dirt trail at Helen of Troy Farm in Pronto. “I’ve been told that I should contact National Geographic because most people won’t believe it.”

Johnston was welcomed to the pen by braying donkeys and bleating goats. She was proud as punch to be there where truth reigns stranger than fiction.

Two donkeys, a male named Sue and a female named Sarah Elizabeth, were the first at the gate of the when it opened, but they were not the main attraction. Not by a long shot.

A pair of baby goats, Little Red Man and Mutt, and mama donkeys Wilamina and Christmas Present took center ring.

That’s when Johnston told what she says is the absolute truth about what had occurred and continues to happen daily at Helen of Troy Farm.

“Martha Lynn, a mama goat, had twins, and I guess she didn’t have enough milk to feed them,” Johnston said. “Wilamina and Christmas Present, mama donkeys, had just had babies and had plenty of milk, so the baby goats started nursing the donkeys and they haven’t let up.”

The baby goats go from mama donkey to mama donkey for their breakfast, dinner, supper and in-between meal snacks.

“My brother in Opelika said that he didn’t believe that donkeys were nursing goats, so we sent him pictures,” Johnston said. “He just hooted. Nobody believes it until they see it. It’s the most amazing thing.”

Since Little Red Man and Mutt haven’t looked in the mirror, it’s possible they think they are donkeys. And, since Wilamina and Christmas Present haven’t had that opportunity either, maybe they think they are goats. A case of mistaken identity?

But then, the mama donkeys are also nursing their own offsprings so that explanation goes right out the window.

“A zoo is what it is. A crazy zoo,” Johnston said.

Johnston’s son, William, said that there is no rhyme or reason to the strange happenings at Helen of Troy Farm.

“It’s just a believe it or not kind of place,” he said, laughing. “Where else but Pronto, Alabama?”