I had been putting even thinking about what I was going to write about today all week. Earlier this week, I read on the internet that the Mayans said that the world was going to end today. I spent my week stress free, knowing that the apocalypse was going to save me from having to write a blog post. Well, the internet lied. The world did not end, and here is friday and I was stuck with out a blog topic.

Stupid Mayans.

On the way home from work this evening, I was predictably slightly stressed about what I was going to write about tonight. So I put on some simple, upbeat, fun music to try to shake me out of my despair. While searching through my MP3 player, I found the artist that I knew would help me out. Elvis, baby. Elvis.

Rocking out to Elvis, of course, quickly brought my mind around to what I knew what I would write about tonight. The late Milton Burro and Hugo the donkey.

The late Milton, our Donkey
I bet you didn’t see that association coming.

Let me explain. I love the music of Elvis Presley. From the ground breaking rocker that was the young Elvis, to the sequined jumpsuits and big stage shows of Fat Elvis, I love it all.

Those of you that have been to Black Mountain Ranch summers before this past one will probably remember Milton Burro. He was our geriatric donkey that died peacefully of old age last winter. Hugo the donkey, who is much, MUCH younger, came to live with us at the ranch the following spring. Hugo was a fantastic addition. Every good dude ranch need lots of animals other than horses and cows around for the kids to play with, and the adults to stare at while sitting on the Saloon porch with a cold beer in hand, and Hugo fits in perfectly.


Hugo and Milton were very different in many way other than their age. Milton would tolerate a whole pile of kids brushing him and climbing up onto his back mostly because he was in his 40’s and couldn’t really do much about it. Hugo loves the attention And actively seeks it out. Milton would spend most of his day moving as little as was necessary between his stations begging in front of the grain shed and standing watch in the shade outside the door to the tack room outside the corral. Hugo, however, will follow rides out of the corral and tag along for hours, just for fun.


Milton, to his credit, had learned to teleport in his old age. Some of you might not believe me, and say things like “donkey’s can’t teleport”, but Milton could and I am sure of this. You would never really see him walking anywhere, but frequently, I would see him stand his watch at the barn one minute, and then standing out at the stock tanks a half mile away only seconds later. Hugo may go on rides and need hugs, but I have never seen him teleport.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Hugo. He is every bit as charismatic and entertaining as Young Elvis was when swivelling his hips and belting out “Hound dog”, but there really was something to the subtlety of Fat Elvis, sweaty and covered in a skin tight jumpsuit that made him look a little like a sausage, almost whispering “Love me Tender”.

I really miss Milton. He tolerated everything so well. But, at the same time, I can’t wait to see Hugo soon. He makes me laugh.

hugo, our dude ranch donkey
Hugo, the donkey

Aren’t you impressed how I brought that around?


  1. BeccaHargate

    I always love your posts Jimmy. I look forward to the next one! Hope you have a great holiday.

  2. Damaris

    Excellent post! I have the honor of sharing Elvis’ birthday (and so does Ingrid), so think of us when you celebrate on the 8th. 🙂

  3. Anita

    Loved the reading Jim, never ad the pleasure of Milton ! But certainly had the honor of Hugo’s presence on one of my many great trail rides! Happy healthy New Year to all at BMR!

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