I have wanted to write a little bit about the animal trading, donating, etc that goes on here at the Fondouk. The perfect opportunity presented itself today in the form of one very funny situation. This one had us all laughing pretty hard. A couple of weeks ago, a man dropped off his mule for a hernia repair. Being very poor and in need of a mule to continue to work and support his family, he borrowed a mule from the Fondouk (the Fondouk occasionally keeps and cares for abandoned or unwanted healthy animals, to be given or loaned to individuals in need). Well, today the same man came back to the Fondouk with a completely different mule that had a wound he wanted us to look at. We asked him where the loaner mule was. As it turns out, he traded the Fondouk’s mule for the one he brought in today (who knows for what reason–maybe the other one didn’t work hard enough). We all laughed for a while; you have to have a sense of humor about this stuff. When we demanded that he "undo" the trade and bring back the same mule that the Fondouk loaned him, he told us that would be impossible because the person he traded the mule to is a butcher! If he was really being honest, maybe the motive was that the Fondouk had fed the mule enough to make it attractive as a food animal. In any case, whether he was trying to put one over on the Fondouk or not, his mule that we originally performed the hernia repair on is not yet ready to return to work. I suppose we’ll sort it all out if he does come back to get his original mule.

The Fondouk’s attitude about situations like this is one of understanding; I don’t suppose you can blame such poor people for doing anything they can to survive. There are some people, though, who take advantage of the Fondouk by dropping off an animal for care, and then not returning to pick up the animal until they need it again for work, which might be months later, during a harvesting season. Those people a