Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Pedro the Burro

The burro who lives in the treespotted field across the country highway from my house makes a sound so plaintive, so rich! Many a person, walking into or out of my home has had cause to stop still in their tracks, turn to me and say, "What is that thing?" I always say, "That's the burro." What I really want to do is get the burro in full guffaw on video, but I cannot coax him into performing for the camera. When he does let forth the guttural plaint it is without fail an impromptu event, as I come or go from the house, thinking no burro-related thoughts--and out of the blue he splits the world with his madcap noise! On the few occasions I have walked across the road and up to his fence with my camera in hand, eye to eye with him in the dusty corner of the field in which he inexplicably makes home (the rest of the field is so green and shaded!, yet he stays in the barren, desolate far corner of this field, the corner closest my home), and when I begin to roll tape on the blue velvety eeyore in unornamented close-up, he has absolutely nothing to say. He becomes all big eyes and downturned head and kicking feet and swishing tail. I coax. Believe me, I coax! He will not holler on cue. Why exactly my neighbor even has a burro in his field here in the middle of Missouri is unknown, for he is no farmer, and I've not seen him ride or even approach the animal. There is a small hand-painted wooden sign tacked to the corner fencepost which tells us that burro's name is Pedro. Pedro the Burro hangs out way over in this corner of the field, seemingly selfconscious and segregated from three lazy cows who roam the remaining expanse of field. It is like the cows have a club and clearly burro is not a member. He is somewhat an iconoclast, burro. A roller in dust, a possessor of dangling black erection, a soundmaker when least expected. He wants nothing to do with the preening bovine. Once though I did see Pedro lay his head down in a ramming position and charge headlong into the very middle of the cow congregation, sending the stalwart animals atrot just as quickly they were capable in three different directions. Following this wild, brief disruption of cow routine, Pedro sauntered back to his corner, kicked himself over onto his back, did a number of rolls in the dust and then got back to his feet and resumed his stance on the field's margin, the cows behind him already clumping back into a stoic, chomping fraternity. Burro made his point, whatsoever that point may have been. And one of these days I am going to catch his massive braying on videotape, I will make record of his antics. If I make but one more movie in my life, let it be that of Burro Pedro's solitary song! My neighbor has a veritable wild kingdom over there across Highway W and I will play the neighborly Marlon Perkins, and one live morning I will hover in low with my helicopter and I will catch a primtime bit of footage.